New Zealand Football could drop the ‘All Whites’ nickname for the men’s national team as part of a review into cultural diversity.
The ‘All Whites’ name was first applied to the national side during the country’s successful qualifying campaign for the 1982 World Cup finals.
NZF, the national governing body, is reported to have sought feedback from stakeholders on a potential change because of fears the nickname could be seen as carrying racial undertones.
“As with many other national bodies, New Zealand Football is on a journey around cultural inclusivity and respecting the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi,” said NZF chief executive Andrew Pragnell, referring to the treaty between the British crown and Maori chiefs signed in 1840.
“As part of our Delivery and Sustainability Project announced last year, we are in the process of working with stakeholders across the game, as well as people from outside football, looking at all areas of the organisation to make sure they are fit for purpose in 2021 and beyond.
“It is too early in the process to speak about any outcomes but this is an important piece of work as we strive to be the most inclusive sport in Aotearoa.”
New Zealand’s rugby union team, which plays in a black strip, is called the All Blacks.
Kiwi Super Rugby side Canterbury Crusaders changed their logo in 2019 from a knight brandishing a sword to a Maori motif in response to questions over whether references to wars between Muslims and Christians were appropriate.
The Washington American football team and Cleveland baseball franchise have both retired their previous nicknames, previously considered offensive to Native Americans.