The New Zealand national football team represents New Zealand in international football and is controlled by the New Zealand Football (NZF), the governing body for football in New Zealand.
The NZF was founded in 1891, became a member of FIFA in 1948, and a member of OFC in 1966. Football in New Zealand began in the late 19th century. However, despite its large player numbers, football in New Zealand always struggled to compete with other sports such as rugby union, cricket and rugby league. So much so, that the first National Soccer League was launched in 1970. The league ran intermittently from 1970-2004. The first champion was Blockhouse Bay, and the runner-up was Eastern Suburbs AFC. The New Zealand Football Championship was created as a replacement to the former New Zealand National Soccer League in 2004. It is still an amateur league that is operated by NZF. The first champion of the new league was Auckland City FC, and the runner-up was Waitakere United. Auckland City FC also defeated 3-2 Waitakere United in the Grand Final.
New Zealand is the most successful football team in Oceania. New Zealand formerly battled Australia for top honours in the OFC. However, Australia now plays in the AFC, leaving New Zealand as the best national football team in Oceania. The New Zealanders have won three times the OFC Nations Cups (1973, 1998, 2008).