National football leagues will only start if Auckland teams can train by November 3

New Zealand football will confirm in early November whether it can host the National Men’s and Women’s League championships this year.

Auckland teams will need to be able to train with full contact by November 3 for this to happen, which will apparently not be possible until the third leg of the roadmap announced by the government on Monday. .

If that is not possible, the two domestic league competitions will not take place this year, as NZ Football is unwilling to host them without the involvement of the Auckland teams. A final decision will be made on November 1.

The final stages of the Chatham Cup and Kate Sheppard Cup knockout competitions are also due to be completed, but the remaining matches could take place in early 2022, which is not an option on the table for the domestic leagues.

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NZ Football has also told the teams involved that it “strongly recommends” that players and staff participating in its domestic competitions be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

If the Auckland teams can resume training by November 3, the two national leagues will operate using an “Auckland Hub” and a “South Hub”.

In the National Men’s League Championship, the six teams from the “South Hub” will face each other once, starting the weekend of November 6, while the four Auckland teams will face each other once from the weekend. -end from November 20.

The top two teams from each hub will then play in the semi-finals on the weekend of December 11, the grand final will follow on the weekend of December 18.

In the National Women’s League championship, there are three Auckland teams and five other teams. The respective hubs will begin round robin play on the same weekends as the men’s hubs, with the best team from the “South Hub” qualifying directly for the grand final.

The winner of the ‘Auckland Hub’ will then hold a preliminary final against the runner-up ‘South Hub’ team on the weekend of December 11 to find the other finalist.

Following a format change ushered in this year, nine of the 10 teams in the National Men’s League championship have been found in the Northern, Central and Southern leagues.

RYAN ANDERSON / STUFF

Football players Ferns were buzzing after waking up early last June to watch the announcement of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023. (First published June 2020)

Auckland City, Auckland United, Birkenhead United and Eastern Suburbs have qualified from the Northern League, which involves teams from Auckland and Waikato.

The Miramar Rangers, Wellington Olympic and Western Suburbs have qualified for the Central League, which involves teams from the rest of the North Island.

Cashmere Technical and Selwyn United have advanced to the Southern League, which involves teams from the South Island.

The 10th team is the Wellington Phoenix reserve.

There was also a format change for the National Women’s League championship, with four teams representing the Central, Capital and Mainland football federations, as well as Football South, joined by the top four clubs in the Women’s Premier League. Northern Region Football League, which involves teams from Auckland and Waikato.

Eastern Suburbs, Northern Rovers, Western Springs and Hamilton Wanderers were the four qualifying teams.

NZ Football has defined a series of checkpoints – Monday, October 18; Monday October 25 and Monday November 1 – where he will provide updates, although he is at the mercy of the government when it comes to almost every aspect of his plan.

The first Chatham Cup semi-final between Cashmere Technical and Western Suburbs took place last weekend, with Cashmere Technical winning 1-0 to secure their place in the final.

The second semi-final is set to be played between Auckland’s North Shore United and Wellington’s Miramar Rangers and could take place at the same time as the National Men’s League championship. A decision on the scheduling of the remaining matches is expected to be made by November 1.

Comments from teams involved in the National Women’s League championship prompted NZ Football to drop plans to complete the Kate Sheppard Cup alongside that competition, a move that would force some players to train and play for two teams. distinct at the same time.

Two semi-finals, between Eastern Suburbs of Auckland and Wellington United, and Coastal Spirit and Hamilton Wanderers of Christchurch, remain to be played.

If they cannot be played by October 31, NZ Football has indicated that it will consider moving the remaining matches, on a case-by-case basis, until February 2022.


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