Des Buckingham will not lead the New Zealand men’s U-23 soccer team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics which was postponed after the appointment of All Whites coach Danny Hay was filed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Hay is scheduled to be in charge of the U-23 team on September 1.
Buckingham has been under contract until the end of August, but a one-year delay to the Games has prompted New Zealand Football to allow Hay to take power starting today, four months earlier than previously planned.
Football NZ said in a statement that his appointment had been submitted to “provide clarity to the players”.
Based on Goods, a group of players urged NZ Football to keep Buckingham for the Olympics again, postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis.
NZ football has instead given Hay, appointed as head coach of the New Zealand men’s team last year, responsibility for the Under-23 squad four months earlier than previously planned.
“We are very disappointed that we cannot attend the Olympics this year and have empathy for what this outcome is for Des and the under-23 men’s group at the moment,” NZ Football chief executive Andrew Pagnell said.
“This is an unprecedented situation, but we want to give clarity to everyone involved so that we are in the best position when we start playing again.”
New Zealand booked their place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after winning the Oceania Football Confederation men’s qualification in October.
Buckingham will train the team if the Olympics take place as scheduled.
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