Haka dance – Rugby world cup Facebook page
CAIRO – 18 June 2017: New Zealand will be playing the opening match of the FIFA Confederation Cup 2017 this Saturday against the host nation, Russia, missing the support of their captain, Winston Reid, due to an injury, and missing the morale boost provided by their traditional Haka dance, due to FIFA regulations.
New Zealand national teams have always performed the Haka before their matches in different sports but they won’t be able to perform it in Russia.
Michael Boxall, New Zealand defender, said during a media conference on Thursday, "It's more of a logistical issue for FIFA as there's a very strict program before the games.”
Boxall added, "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.”
Haka is New Zealand’s traditional dance which has been performed in the past on the battlefield and when groups came together in peace and to challenge other teams in sports competitions in the present.
New Zealand will also miss the support of their captain Winston Reid due to a knee injury he sustained with his team West Ham last May.
New Zealand, the Oceania champions, will be playing in the first group with Mexico, Portugal and Russia.