New Zealand pulled out of next month’s football friendly against England on Wednesday, saying “complications” caused by Covid-19 had made it too difficult to field a team at Wembley on November 12.
“The shifting nature of travel restrictions and commercial flight availability under Covid means that we do not have certainty we could assemble a squad at Wembley,” New Zealand Football CEO Andrew Pragnell said in a statement.
All Whites coach Danny Hay said he was “gutted” to have to withdraw from such a high-profile fixture.
“Looking at the restrictions currently in place, as well as the rising number of Covid-19 cases across Europe, it just isn’t possible to put a competitive squad together,” he said.
The current round of international fixtures has witnessed a surge in coronavirus cases, including a positive test by Portugal and Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.