The announcement was made in Zurich on Thursday following a two-day FIFA Executive Committee meeting, where President Chung was welcomed as a new member after his recent election at the OFC Congress in American Samoa.
“This is wonderful news, both for football in New Zealand and right across the Pacific,” he said.
“The bid put forward by New Zealand Football was a strong one and they are fully deserving of winning the hosting rights for this tournament. I would like to take this opportunity to thank New Zealand Football Chairman Frank van Hattum, OFC Executive Member Fred de Jong, Chief Executive Michael Glading and everyone involved with the bid for their hard work and I congratulate them on turning this dream into a reality.”
There will be six host cities for the tournament but NZF Chairman Frank van Hattum says a final decision on the venues has not been made.
“We’ve got four years to prepare and the hard work starts now,” said van Hattum. “There are some important decisions to be made, not least around host cities but Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch are top of the list. ”
President Chung emphasized the economic impact and importance of awarding the event to New Zealand, and particularly to Christchurch after the devastating earthquake.
“We look forward to hopefully bringing the tournament to Christchurch, a city that is most deserving to host this world class event.”
It is the second time in recent months that an OFC member has successfully bid for a FIFA tournament after Tahiti won the right to host the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2013 last year.
“This shows that OFC is well respected on the international stage and that Pacific countries can compete with their counterparts from the rest of the world in the keenly-contested race to host FIFA events.”
New Zealand successfully hosted the FIFA U-17 World Cup and FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 1999 and 2008 respectively while this year’s hosting of the Rugby World Cup also went a long way in strengthening the bid.
The appointment of hosting rights was among a number of important decisions made during the FIFA Executive Committee meeting, including the slots for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
There has been no change to the slots which stay as follows: AFC 4.5, CAF 5.0, CONCACAF 3.5, CONMEBOL 4.5, OFC 0.5, UEFA 13.0 and one for the host Brazil. For the play-offs relating to the half slots, a draw will determine how the four confederations involved (AFC, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL and OFC) will pair off. A decision on when this draw will take place has not been announced.
Speaking from Zurich, OFC General Secretary Tai Nicholas says the allocation of slots for FIFA’s pinnacle event is an important call.
“Maintaining a World Cup place is paramount and we are satisfied with the decision to keep the allocations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup the same as they were for the 2010 event,” said Nicholas.
“OFC has to earn its spot, and the New Zealand All Whites did that last year showing they were more than capable of competing on the world stage. Now we will have to await the draw to determine which confederation we will be up against but we look forward to an exciting play-off against another Asian team or possible South or North American side.”
The FIFA Executive Committee appointed the hosts for several other FIFA competitions including: FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 and FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2014 awarded to Canada; FIFA U-20 World Cup 2013 to Turkey; FIFA U-17 World Cup 2013 to the United Arab Emirates; FIFA U-17 World Cup 2015 to Chile; FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2012 to Uzbekistan and FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2014 to Costa Rica.
FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter also took note of the 2010 FIFA Financial Report during the meeting announcing a positive result of USD 631 million for the four-year period 2007-2010.