New Zealand Football (NZF), is reexamining its nickname “All Whites” as part of a cultural initiative run by the organisation.
According to reports, the moniker was given to the men’s national team during their successful qualification campaign for the 1982 FIFA World Cup. This was due to their all-white uniform.
But NZF, the country’s football governing body, said it had sought feedback from stakeholders about whether all areas of the federation were still “fit for purpose.”
“New Zealand Football, like many other national bodies, is on a journey about cultural inclusivity, respecting the principles Te Tiriti o Waitangi,” stated an NZF statement. This refers to the 1840 treaty between the British crown of Great Britain and Maori chiefs.
“As part of our Delivery and Sustainability Project, which was announced last year,” we are currently working with stakeholders from all walks of football and people outside of football to examine all aspects of the organization in order to ensure they are ready for the future in 2021 and beyond.
“It’s too early to talk about the outcome of the process, but this is an important piece to work in our quest to be the inclusive sport in Aotearoa.”
The New Zealand women’s team is nicknamed the “Football Ferns,” while the country’s men’s rugby team is famously called the “All Blacks” after its iconic black kit.
NZF’s review follows a series of reviews by other teams in sports that have reexamined their brands in recent years.
The NFL’s Washington Football Team decided to drop its “Redskins” moniker after a “thorough review.” Native American groups have long decried the name as an ethnic slur.
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Elsewhere, one of New Zealand’s top rugby union teams — the Crusaders — also scrapped its knight and sword logo after a review in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack in 2019.