Phoenix get All Whites qualifying relief

Last updated 21:45 16/01/2013

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The Wellington Phoenix's A-League match with the Newcastle Jets on March 23 has been brought forward to February 27 because it clashes with the All Whites World Cup Oceania qualifying games against New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands.

Football Federation Australia today confirmed the round 26 fixture at Westpac Stadium will be no longer be sandwiched between matches against the Pacific Island nations.

The Phoenix were originally scheduled to host the Jets a day after the national side plays New Caledonia; they face the Solomons on March 26.

The Oceania qualifiers were not confirmed when the A-League 2012-13 season draw was released and the FFA made the alteration because the Phoenix would not be able to sign replacement players for that period due to international transfer regulations.

The Phoenix do not have a National Youth League team to call up players from and the Phoenix Centre of Excellence members are also ineligible to be summoned as replacements.

Up to 10 Phoenix players are expected to be unavailable for selection due to national team commitments.

Ticket holders are able to obtain a refund or exchange original tickets for the new date.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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