All Whites Snub FA Challenge
Soccer NZ today rejected a request from the FA for an England v NZ friendly to be played in the NZ winter, saying the game would likely be 'hardly worth it' following lowly England's recent loss to a second-string Australia side.
'We'd have to make entry to the game free to attract a crowd to see a low-calibre side like England, and the takings from the raffles and sausage-sizzle probably wouldn't be enough to cover the cost of the hot water for the showers, especially when you look at how many bloody players they have', said Soccer NZ Chairman Bill Franklin from his offices at the Poenamo Pub today.
'It's a bit of shame', added Franklin 'cause it looks like they've got some decent young blokes in their team, and developing soccer nations like England need exposure to high-standard opponents like the Oceania teams'.
'But if they can't beat Australia, who we've been using as a practise team over the last few seasons, then they can p*ss off.' New Zealand All-Whites captain Harry Ngata echoed the Chairman's concerns, and although thought England could take heart from their recent result, doubted many of the NZ players could get time off from milking cows to play the game, and also noted that the game would probably be 'smack in the middle of lambing season'.
'We're probably better off just concentrating on our upcoming match with Tonga', Ngata said.
Meanwhile Australia coach Frank Farina has come under fire at home about the disappointing 3-1 result. He today dismissed criticism regarding his reluctance to pick 'proper Aussies' for the England match as 'bloody bullsh*t', instead claiming that the European-based players need a chance to prove themselves too.
Farina hit back at top NSL clubs, Wollongong Wolves and Brisbane Stars who were reluctant to release their top players for the international claiming the match was 'farcical', and insisting that they were better off retaining their top players for the upcoming matches with league high-flyers, the Auckland-based Soccer KiNgZ. In some cases clubs were seeking multi-hundred dollar payouts to release the players for the match dubiously billed as an 'international', recognising that England is not really a proper country anyway, just a principality like Wales.
'I'm glad we didn't pull all the blokes from the NSL (National Soccer League) over there, it could have been an absolute bloody embarrassment. We could have been lookin' at 6- or 8-nil if we'd had our Australia-based players, and that's no good for anyone' said Farina.
'Plus with the cost of the flights, it would have been a waste of bloody money.' Farina's frustration was evident, noting that England coach Sven Goran Eriksson wouldn't even buy him a beer after the match, despite his £2m a year pay-packet.
'Swedish w*nker' Farina was heard to have uttered.
Farina was said to be happy with the way the second-stringers performed, but insisted they were still 'a bunch of bloody poofters who should be playin' a proper game like Aussie Rules or League.'