John Herdman will not be the next white coach.
The survey of the new All White coach seems to be back to square one.
Canada coach John Herdman understood that New Zealand Football was the preferred candidate, but he ruled himself out and committed to his current job through the 2026 Trophy Cup.
In a statement, Herdman said: “Things at this level will always invite opportunity. I received several offers in the last few months, all of which I turned down, except for the offer from New Zealand.”
“I want to reiterate my commitment to Canada and the development of this program.”
“In the World Cup in Qatar, our people showed the world that they can meet 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.
Herdman’s public rejection of NZ Football comes a day after the governing body revealed it had identified its preferred candidate to succeed Danny Hay as All Whites coach.
Chief executive Andrew Pragnell said he was offered “an absolute candidate to stand” in early January and, in his opinion, was “close” to being signed.
Pragnell said the family health issue then came “out of the blue” for that candidate, which “created some real challenges for them in terms of being able to sign those contracts on time.”
On Wednesday, Pragnell’s statement was that he was “still in conversation” with the prospective coach, but was cautious about where things stood with them.
“I would say positive, but unknown.
A familiar face could be in charge of the All Whites for the first time, while John Herdman could take over as NZF’s preferred candidate from Danny Hay.
“We certainly had deep conversations with them in terms of their use, their passion for their country, and their desire to have a meaningful impact.”
“Also, when a bad health issue comes to you out of the blue — and out of the blue — I think you have to take it in stride.
“We are still in dialogue. We are still positive. I remain in the best part, but as I said we are dealing with variables that are beyond our control.
Under-20s coach Darren Bazeley has meanwhile been grounded as the All Whites coach for their home fixture against China in March.
Pragnell said on Wednesday that the end of the March window would provide “an opportunity for us to go back and decide what to do next”.
“Whatever comes of it, it’s going to be a case of going back to the drawing board, and if that’s the case, then we’re open to that, and obviously we could sue others if we need to.”