25 Jul 2012

Big crowd for first Olympic event featuring Kiwi footballers

6:16 pm on 25 July 2012

It's two days until the official Olympic opening ceremony but the London Games kick off in Cardiff tonight.

The opening event is football with the New Zealand women's team playing hosts Great Britain at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff.

Women's football in Britain rarely attracts crowds of more than 5,000, but two days before the Games opening ceremony, they're predicting 35-40,000 fans will turn up for the match at Cardiff's MiIlennium stadium, starting at 3 o'clock tomorrow morning.

New Zealand's Football Ferns have been unable to train at Millenium Stadium because officials are trying to preserve the pitch.

But the coach, Tony Readings, says the team has had a chance to look around and familiarise themselves with the ground, which promises a good game.

Readings says it's a smooth surface and in immaculate condition, and the side's excited to play at a stadium which will provide a lot of atmosphere.

The Olympic football tournaments, involving 16 men's teams and 12 women's are too long to be accommodated within the Games timeframe, so they have to start before the Opening Ceremony.