New Zealand’s football leagues return, with fans allowed to attend across the country
New Zealand’s ISPS Handa Men’s Premiership, one of the few football leagues in the world currently open to fans, returns this weekend. The men’s season follows the start of the ISPS Handa Women’s Premiership, which has already played two rounds.
In partnership with Sky Sport NZ, all games will now be broadcast live with 75% available globally for free on Sky Sport’s YouTube channel, meaning fans across the globe can experience the game with crowds.
The league that launched the careers of New Zealand international players including Burnley’s Chris Wood, PSV’s Ryan Thomas and Bayern Munich’s Sarpreet Singh kicks off its 17th season with 2019/20 Champions Auckland City FC up against city rivals Eastern Suburbs as the opening round’s headline fixture.
New Zealand Football CEO Andrew Pragnell said:
“Broadcasting every game across the men’s and women’s leagues has long been a priority so we are pleased to be able to make it happen this year.
“We are in the fortunate position to now both allow fans to attend in person as well as enable new fans to watch from around the world.
“I want to thank ISPS Handa for their continued involvement in the men’s league and for extending their support this season to the ISPS Handa Women’s Premiership.”
Dr Haruhisa Handa, Founder and Chairman of ISPS Handa said:
“We are absolutely thrilled that the ISPS Handa Men’s Premiership will be returning this weekend following COVID related restrictions and furthermore delighted that these games, alongside the ISPS Handa Women’s Premiership which has already commenced, will now also be accessible to fans all over the world, thanks to the partnership with Sky Sport NZ.
“The return of these games is a wonderful glimmer of hope for normalcy. We want to thank the incredible team at NZ Football for their relentless efforts to deliver the games to New Zealand and global audiences.”