NZ Football apologises over All Whites no show
New Zealand Football has apologised to child fans in China after the All Whites failed to show up for a breakfast event.
Players were supposed to attend a morning meet-and-greet function with ex-patriots in Shanghai after their 1-1 draw with China on Thursday (NZT).
After the match All Whites players went to an exclusive night club, and failed to appear at the meeting the morning after - leaving chairman Frank van Hattum the sole representative.
A release from NZ Football, assigned to no actual administrator, claims the players were not aware of the commitment made in conjunction with ex-patriot organisation Kea China.
"NZF was unaware that the breakfast had been promoted on the Kea China website and that the All Whites were expected to attend and apologises to the fans that turned up to see them," the release said.
"NZF chair Frank van Hattum attended the breakfast on behalf of the organisation, and as an immediate remedial action the All Whites signed shirts and other memorabilia to be distributed to the fans who attended the breakfast."
The release followed New Zealand businessman Howard Moore outing the no-show at the expense of a night out in plush Shanghai nightclub M1nt Bar - which features a shark tank.
"Great to see the All Whites vs China last night here in Shanghai," Moore posted.
"But the All Whites efforts were obliterated by their failure to turn up the next morning at a Kea breakfast function to which many kids came along expecting to see the All Whites as advertised.
"The reality was they went out to the M1nt Bar nightclub and couldn't make the effort to turn up for this breakfast.
"The All Whites were paid by MFAT to play in this game and, as ambassadors for New Zealand, should have been able to muster some of their team to turn up.
"New Zealand Soccer is never going to win the hearts and minds of the New Zealand population if this is the attitude they are going to take."
NZ Football said the release was to 'clarify its position' on the blunder and will now look to re-arrange commitments.
"NZ Football wishes to clarify its position regarding the Kea China breakfast in Shanghai following the All Whites and China international match played on Wednesday, November 14.
"Prior to the match a meeting was held between diplomatic representatives from China and New Zealand with no NZF involvement.
"From this meeting a request was made for All Whites players and officials to attend a Kea breakfast in Shanghai the morning after the match.
"The request was initially declined, with a compromise proposed by NZF to hold an exclusive autograph session for Kea members at the official training session the night before the match.
"This request was subsequently declined by the China Football Association.
"NZF fully supports Kea's activities in China and across the world, and the All Whites have attended Kea functions in the past and will continue to do so in the future
"NZF will now look to coordinate further opportunities for interaction with Kea China."