15 Jun 2017

Haka a no-go for FIFA

12:05 pm on 15 June 2017

The All Whites have told Russian media that FIFA regulations are the reason why they won't be seeing the haka at the up-coming Confederations Cup tournament in Russia.

The New Zealand footballers will line up in the tournament's opening game against hosts Russia in St Petersburg's Krestovsky Stadium early on Sunday morning.

The All Whites celebrate a goal against Fijji in their Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier.

The All Whites celebrate a goal against Fijji in their Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

At a media conference ahead of the game, local journalists quizzed team members Shane Smeltz and Michael Boxall about whether they would be performing the haka before the tournament opener .

"The New Zealand rugby team is known for the dance, haka, why don't you dance before the game?" asked one Russian reporter.

"You want us to dance?" queried All Whites striker Shane Smeltz, prompting laughter among the gathering.

Team mate and defender Michael Boxall explained that regulations set by football's governing body FIFA effectively ruled out haka before international matches.

"I think it's more of a logistical thing from FIFA.

"It's a very strict timeframe leading up to the games. You have to be out of the tunnel six minutes before kickoff, lining up four minutes before kickoff.

Michael Boxall indicated the All Whites had performed haka privately before some games but the FIFA regulations made more public displays difficult.

"It's something we actually have done in our confederation play but prior to heading out onto the field. Obviously New Zealand is known for that and it would be something unique and special for us to do, but the time constraints from Fifa don't allow it."

New Zealand's 95th in FIFA's world rankings and the lowest ranked team at the tournament.

They'll play Mexico and Portugal after their opening match against Russia.