New Zealand Football Team Could See ‘All Whites’ Nickname Changed Over Racism Fears

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 23 Aug 2021 14:16
New Zealand Football Team Could See ‘All Whites’ Nickname Changed Over Racism Fears@nzallwhites/Instagram

New Zealand’s national football team may be dropping its decades-old nickname in a bid to become more culturally inclusive. 

The team was first given the nickname ‘All Whites’ in 1982 after New Zealand successfully made it to the World Cup finals.


This was the first year the country had qualified for the finals. They later qualified again in 2010.

Despite having the nickname for almost 40 years, New Zealand Football (NZF) is now looking to change the name out of fears it carries racial undertones.

New Zealand national team (PA)PA Images

The governing body has sought feedback from stakeholders to get their thoughts on the matter.


NZF chief executive Andrew Pragnell said in a statement:

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,’ he continued, as per Sky Sports.

Pragnell also gave the nod to Te Tiriti o Waitangi; a treaty between the British Crown and Māori chiefs signed in 1840. He said, ‘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.’


The treaty was created to establish a British governor of New Zealand, as well as to give Māori ownership of their lands and other properties, and to give them the rights of British subjects.

New Zealand sports fans (PA)PA Images

New Zealand’s national team isn’t alone in considering changing its name for cultural inclusion purposes; earlier this year, baseball team the Cleveland Indians announced it had changed its name to the Cleveland Guardians.

The name change came three years after the team changed its controversial Chief Wahoo logo, which Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said was ‘no longer appropriate for on-field use in Major League Baseball.’


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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Sport, Football, New Zealand


Sky Sports
  1. Sky Sports

    New Zealand Football diversity review could drop 'All Whites' nickname