The All Whites received a second blow today when it was announced goalkeeper Glen Moss has been ruled out of the All Whites' World Cup qualifiers against New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands.
Moss recently returned to action for the Phoenix but picked up a knee injury during the All Whites' first training session in Dunedin yesterday.
Jacob Spoonley has been called into the squad as a replacement for both matches.
The news follows the announcement that Australian-born defender Andrew Durante will definitely not make his All Whites debut tomorrow night.
New Zealand Football high performance director Fred de Jong and coach Ricki Herbert made that call in Dunedin today after world football governing body Fifa failed to give de Jong a definitive answer overnight on Durante's eligibility.
De Jong said it was "frustrating" but NZF would reassess the situation after tomorrow night's game against New Caledonia before deciding whether Durante wold play in the final World Cup Oceania qualifying group game against the Solomon Islands in Honiara on Tuesday.
"I spoke to Fifa last night and there's no real movement from their position," de Jong said.
"I spoke to Ricki this morning and we made the decision that Andrew won't take part (tomorrow).
"We will reassess his position after the match, depending on the result."
De Jong said Herbert would convey the decision to Durante. But the central defender had been aware that circumstances might rule him out.FIFA had three criteria for a player "acquiring a new nationality", de Jong said.
The player had to have citizenship, had to have never represented another nation at senior or junior level and had to have lived in his or her new country for more than five years.
De Jong said New Zealand citizenship laws required the applicant to have lived in New Zealand for five years from the date of application and to have been resident here for "1350 days or 240 days in each of those five years".
Durante, who joined the Wellington Phoenix on February 8 2008 met the Fifa and New Zealand government criteria.
De Jong said NZF had sent all the documents to Fifa and had asked them to confirm if Durante is eligible or not.
"They have said 'we can't say it's up to you'."
De Jong said NZF and Herbert could not take the risk of playing Durante without Fifa's assurance in case his eligibility was challenged and New Zealand's World Cup campaign was jeopardised.
They wanted the All White's World Cup fate decided on the field not by lawyers, de Jong said.
- © Fairfax NZ News