Football: John Herdman turns down chance to become new All Whites coach to remain with Canada

John Herdman appears to have turned down the chance to take the vacant role of All Whites head coach, opting to remain with Canada for the foreseeable future.

Herdman, 47, loomed as the frontrunner to take the reins of the NZ men's team, currently without a coach, after Danny Hay's contract expired in late 2022.

After success as the head coach of Canada men's team - including an appearance at last year's World Cup in Qatar - Herdman hopes to continue in his current role.

"Success at this level will always invite opportunity," said Herdman. "I've received several offers in recent months, all of which I have turned down, including an offer from New Zealand Football.

"To our Canadian players and our fans, I want to reiterate my commitment to Canada Soccer and the growing of this program.

"At the World Cup in Qatar, our men showed the world that they belong at that level. I'm not going anywhere.

"We still have a job to do and the objective is to take this team to the next level in 2026."

Along with the USA and Mexico, Canada will co-host the 2026 Football World Cup.

On Wednesday, NZ Football chief executive Andrew Pragnell told Newshub the preferred candidate to take charge of the All Whites had agreed terms, and was "100 percent" on board, but a personal situation had put a hold on the process.

NZ Football's preferred candidate was Herdman - widely reported after Newshub broke news of the organisation’s interest.

The news will come as a blow to NZ Football and the All Whites, as Newshub understands Herdman was the preferred candidate to take on the role of head coach.

In the meantime, Darren Bazeley will act as head coach of the All Whites on an interim basis, guiding them through next month's friendly matches against China, while the search for a head coach continues.