New Zealand Football hope their blockbuster World Cup home playoff with Peru can be staged on Saturday 11 November in the afternoon - but that is dependent upon negotiations over the next few days.

The All Whites' opponents for next month's intercontinental playoff were finally confirmed on Wednesday afternoon, after a frantic final round of South American playoff games.

NZF has been in discussions with Peru over the last few days - even before the Andean nation was confirmed as the opposition - and they also talked to Argentina, Colombia and Chile.

They have conveyed their preferences around the timings of the match to the Peru Football Federation, and also Fifa. If the two nations can find agreement then Fifa just needs to rubber stamp the dates, but if there is no common ground, then the Swiss governing body will make the final decision.


NZF CEO Andy Martin expects the match dates to be finalized by the end of this week.

"It's a complicated situation," NZF CEO Martin told the Herald. "To get to New Zealand for game one, and to get back to South America for game two, we need to be very careful with logistics, travel and expectations."

Martin confirmed that NZF's preference, both from a football and commercial point of view, is for the home leg to be staged on Saturday afternoon.

"We would absolutely prefer Saturday," said Martin. "If it was Friday it would be the same situation as last time [against the Solomons Islands] where a lot of the players are coming in late from Europe and America."

During the September window the likes of Chris Wood (Burnley) and Ryan Thomas (PEC Zwolle) didn't arrive in New Zealand until Tuesday, which meant they were limited to one full training session before the Friday night match at Albany stadium.

However, the final decision will depend on when the second leg playoff will be, and the logistics of getting to South America in good time, for both teams.

"We will be out as quick as we can...if it is Friday we will leave on Saturday," said Martin. "If it is Saturday [afternoon] we will try to leave late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. We have already done a lot of work on it on all the possibilities."

The broadcast arrangements also come into consideration. From a commercial point of view, an afternoon kickoff in New Zealand is preferable, to capture the massive television audience in South America at a favourable time.


But a Friday afternoon wouldn't work in Wellington in terms of a live crowd and New Zealand television, which is another reason why Saturday is the first choice for NZF.

But it all depends on the desires of Peru. If they push for a Monday match for the return leg (Tuesday NZT) then a Saturday game in Wellington would be logisitically impossible. However that is seen as unlikely, given the vast majority of their team ply their trade in Europe.

But despite NZF's stated preference and all the other factors that make Saturday a logical option, it's probably a 50-50 call between Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Fifa are naturally conservative and may see Saturday as too late in the window (which runs from the 6th to the 14th November) to stage the first game.

The 2013 Inter-continental playoffs with Mexico, which had the same logistical challenges, were held seven days apart, with the first leg on 13 November in Mexico and the return on the 20 November in Wellington.

But that was a longer Fifa window, and New Zealand's European based players (like Chris Wood and Tommy Smith) missed the preceding week's matches with their European clubs to assemble in North America much earlier than will be possible this time.