All Whites to play Tahiti in Christchurch

Last updated 05:00 11/08/2012
Ryan Nelsen
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INTERNATIONAL: The All Whites will play Tahiti in Christchurch in October.

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The All Whites will play Tahiti in Christchurch on October 16 - the first time they have set foot in Canterbury for six years.

A qualifying match for the 2014 Fifa World Cup, the fixture against Oceania champions Tahiti will also be the first international football match played at the new AMI Stadium in Addington.

The match, which will be played on a Tuesday evening with kickoff at 7.30pm, will be the first All Whites match in the South Island since a 1-0 win over Malaysia at QEII Park in February 2006.

North Harbour Stadium will host the All Whites' first "home" World Cup qualifier on September 11 against Solomon Islands. The matches are part of the third stage of Oceania qualifying, from which the winner progresses to a playoff against the fourth-placed qualifier from the North and Central America region in November 2013 for a place at the World Cup finals in Brazil.

The venue for New Zealand's third home qualifier, on March 22, is yet to be decided.

New Zealand Football chief executive Grant McKavanagh said the strong influence of Canterbury players on past and present All Whites sides and the region's footballing tradition made it an easy decision to take a World Cup qualifier to the Garden City.

“It's been a long time between drinks for All Whites fans down south and it's exciting to be able to bring the national team back to Christchurch given what the region has given to the All Whites . . . I'm sure they'll get out in numbers to help us get the points we need to get closer to a place in the intercontinental playoff.”

Tickets go on presale from August 16.

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- Fairfax Media

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