Almost 10,000 people on All Whites tickets waitlist as afternoon football looms
Lovers of afternoon sport will be in for a treat if New Zealand Football get their way.
They want the first leg of November's intercontinental playoff between the All Whites and Peru at Westpac Stadium to be played on the afternoon of Saturday, November 11.
A 3pm kickoff would translate to a 9pm Friday start in Peru, making the game more lucrative for NZF to sell the broadcasting rights.
NZF chief executive Andy Martin said a Saturday game would be agreeable for both NZF and the Federacion Peruana de Futbol (Peruvian FA) as it gives both teams as much time as possible to fly their players from all over the world to New Zealand.
"What we've been talking about for many years is starting to resonate, in the fact that the window starts on a Sunday night in Europe, then it's already Monday here, so we don't get our players until Tuesday-Wednesday.
"Obviously the opponents in South America have realised it's the same for them, so we've now got two teams raising the same issue to Fifa, which is really good."
The venue for the second leg, likely to be played on the last day of the window on November 14, remains up in the air after it emerged the team's normal home ground, the 40,000-seat Estadio Nacional in Lima, has been booked by rock bank Green Day for a concert on November 15.
They have the 80,000-seat Estadio Monumental on the outskirts of Lima as a handy backup.
There have been suggestions Fifa might look to extend the window for this fixture given the amount of travel involved for both teams.
"That would be unprecedented," Martin said.
"Certainly, that would be very helpful, but it hasn't happened before. Our position has been we want the Saturday afternoon for the home game, [coach] Anthony [Hudson] and myself have made that very clear.
"We want to get that afternoon slot, so that's what we're pushing hard on. What we're doing right now is sorting out the travel options once the date has been confirmed."
Reports from Peru say they have already sold 25,000 tickets for the match, even without a venue confirmed.
Martin said they had almost 10,000 people signed up to the waitlist for first-leg tickets. Tickets are expected to go on sale early next week to those on the waitlist, but only once the dates have been confirmed by Fifa. Those on the waitlist will get three days to buy their tickets in a pre-sale before it is opened up to the general public.
Martin said he expected the dates of the fixtures to be confirmed by the end of the weekend.
What Fifa has confirmed is allowing NZF to use temporary seating at Westpac Stadium to bolster the capacity to 38,500.
Martin said ticket prices would be confirmed early next week.