WELLINGTON - New Zealand's soccer chief has promised the cash and exposure earned from qualifying for the 2010 World Cup finals will not be squandered.
New Zealand are set to land around NZ$10 million (R55,5million) for qualifying for next year's finals in South Africa after Rory Fallon's header gave them a 1-0 victory over Bahrain in their Asia-Oceania playoff in Wellington on Saturday.
New Zealand Football (NZF) chief executive Michael Glading said they had adopted a long-term strategy for the payout from Fifa and would ensure the money was put to good use.
"We were cautious about having a big windfall and going crazy (because) you've got a lot of money and you can create a lot of short-term activity and then the money runs out," Glading said. "We're very much thinking about long term."
Glading said the exact payout would not be known until world governing body Fifa finalised commercial arrangements, but NZF had budgeted for about NZ$10million.
Some of the money would be used to fund the high-performance programme for the next four years while the rest would be invested to generate revenue for development programmes.
Discussions with potential sponsors would now also likely intensify, Glading said.
Coach Ricki Herbert, who was a member of the team that made the 1982 finals in Spain, told reporters he hoped the NZF would not repeat the errors of the past when soccer failed to fully capitalise on the exposure created in the rugby-mad country.
"They better spend the bloody money right because we are not going down that pathway again," Hebert said. - Reuters