Why have New Zealand withdrawn?

New Zealand have withdrawn from the clash due to “further travel and player availability complications caused by Covid-19”.

In a statement, New Zealand Football chief executive Andrew Pragnell said: “It is with deep regret that we have been forced to cancel our participation in the upcoming match against England at Wembley.

“It is not an action taken lightly, this is a match we all wanted to play, however, as it stands of the last All Whites squad selected for the November 2019 tour, even excluding the New Zealand based players, a significant number of the team would be subject to quarantine or restrictions on their return home.

“This would heavily disrupt their domestic seasons and potentially jeopardise their professional careers.”

What will England do?

England are already searching for alternative opponents.

The Football Association wants to go ahead with a friendly on the same date to help Southgate prepare for England’s final two UEFA Nations League Group A2 fixtures away to Belgium on November 15 and at home against Iceland three days later.

England wrote on their official Twitter account: “We can confirm New Zealand’s withdrawal from next month’s international friendly. We will announce replacement opposition in due course.”

When did England last play New Zealand?

The November 12 friendly was set to be only the third meeting between the two countries, and the first in England.

The two previous matches were both part of the Three Lions’ 1991 summer tour of New Zealand when Graham Taylor’s team won 1-0 in Auckland and 2-0 in Wellington.

(Photo: By Kai Schwoerer via Getty Images)





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