Changes loom for Kiwi Olympic football side

The New Zealand men's Olympic football team is set for wide-spread changes.

Newshub understands the two assistant coaches who qualified for the Games have been told they won't be going to Tokyo and Des Buckingham's contract is not guaranteed.

He led the New Zealand Under 20s to a maiden win against European opposition before helping book the under 23s spot to the Olympic Games.

 But Des Buckingham's ticket to Tokyo could be ripped up.

"We haven't made any decisions around employment matters yet, we're still taking full financial stock of where we're at and where we're gonna land New Zealand," Football CEO Andrew Pragnell told Newshub.

The financial uncertainties over the coronavirus crisis have forced NZ Football to let some contractors on retainers go.

Newshub understands that includes Buckingham's two assistant coaches Hiroshi Miyazawa and Mark Oates but when asked if that was the case, New Zealand Football said in a statement:

"We’re not able to comment on individual employment matters but are aware the postponing of the Olympics affects a number of people involved in that campaign, who have worked hard so far to help our teams qualify and prepare.

"We are currently working through the situation to ensure both the Football Ferns and U-23 men have the best possible preparation ahead of the new dates for the Olympics."

 Buckingham will need to find two new assistant coaches if his contract is extended through to next year's Games, something that, by his record, you would think would be automatic.

In 23 matches in charge of New Zealand age-group sides he's lost just one in 90 minutes.

That includes wins against Honduras and Norway and a draw against Uruguay at the U20 World Cup and two draws against the Australian U23 side across the Tasman.

But in the current climate, Pragnell said nothing is a formality.

"No I don't think so, I think there's been a big spotlight on coaching appointments and how those decisions are being made.

"We've got a high performance and player welfare committee. That'd be a discussion with them and others."

And we need more information around what type of international activity we might have this year, if any.