Sports are important to every country and one of the important ones for New Zealand is Football. Fortunately, there is enough interest in this sport within NZ that the country has some top league teams that both the country, athletes and fans are very proud of.
The Financial Factors
To operate the sport of football it costs money. No matter what level it is played at. In order to be able to handle these costs, the leagues need outside assistance. While there are a variety of different sponsors, the big sponsorship money goes to the rugby and football as a sport suffers in order to help keep these sports on the level that they are today.
Top Leagues in Different Categories
With football being such a popular sport in New Zealand it has set the foundation for the country to have many different levels or categories. These are comprised of the regional, national and international leagues. Within each of these categories, there are top leagues.
The National Leagues
There are several national football leagues in New Zealand. All of which have much to offer to this sport and the fans that enjoy it. Among the leagues two that are normally considered to be top teams are as follows:
- The All Whites
This team has enjoyed a good history in the world of football. They come under the Oceania Confederation. Their first international appearance took place against Australia in 1922. While throughout their playing history they have managed to hold their own their biggest win took place in 1981. When they played against Fiji and came out the victors with a score of 13 to 0. This victory took the sting out of their biggest defeat which dated way back to 1936. During this game the All Whites were pitted against Australia who came out with the win of 10 to 0. So far throughout their career, they have had two appearances in the world cup. Ten appearances in the OFC Nations Cup. Along with four appearances in the Confederation Cup.
- Football Ferns
The women in New Zealand have the same passion for this sport as their male counterparts do. They are represented by the Football Ferns which is the New Zealand National Football Team. The existence of this team dates back to 1975 with the introduction of the New Zealand Women’s Soccer Association. That very same year they won the Asian Women’s Championship. Their biggest win was recorded as a result of the game played against Samosa in 1998 with the score being 21 to 0. A few years later they realized their biggest defeat which took place in 2004 when they were beaten by North Korea with a score of 11 to 0. The team has had five appearances in the World Cup. Eleven appearances in the OFC Women’s Nations Cup. Much to the delight of the country, this league has made 3 appearances in the Summer Olympics.
While the national leagues receive the bulk of the attention there are also many regional football leagues that contribute a great deal to this sport in New Zealand. Fortunately there is a great deal of attention paid to the various levels of football in New Zealand. This type of attention helps to keep this sport alive and drives its popularity. Fan participation makes football important on every level.