Football: New Zealand men's Olympic football coach Des Buckingham axed

The axe has fallen on New Zealand men's Olympic football coach Des Buckingham. 

Buckingham was contracted through until the conclusion of the Tokyo Olympic Games in August, but that tournament has now been postponed by 12 months. 

NZ Football has decided against extending his contract, with All Whites coach Danny Hay set to take over.

"As part of his role as All Whites head coach, Danny Hay was previously due to take on the position of men’s U23 head coach from September 2020," NZ Football chief executive Andrew Pragnell says.

"Due to the current postponement of international football, this has been brought forward to provide clarity to the players.

"The consolidation of roles allows for the 2021 Olympics to now become an integral part of the All Whites' qualification campaign for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

"We are deeply disappointed that we were not able to attend the Olympics this year and have empathy for what this outcome means for Des [Buckingham] and the current men’s U23 group.

"This is an unprecedented situation, but we wanted to provide clarity for everyone involved, so that we are in the best possible position, when we start playing again."

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