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All Whites' game against Kuwait, 1981


This is the programme for the controversial second-round clash with Kuwait at Mount Smart Stadium on 10 October 1981. In this game the All Whites suffered their only defeat in 15 World Cup qualifying matches. After the referee awarded the visitors two penalties for handball, a youthful spectator ran onto the pitch and threw a soft-drink can at the official. The New Zealand Football Association was subsequently fined by FIFA for that incident and other crowd disturbances.

This programme also highlights tobacco sponsorship, which was common at this time. Sport and smoking may seem an unlikely combination, but sporting bodies struggling for financial support often found the tobacco companies more than willing to inject much-needed funds into their competitions and activities. In the 1970s and 1980s tobacco companies sponsored a number of major sports events in New Zealand, including tennis tournaments, cycling tours, car rallies and athletics meetings.

The  Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 established the Health Sponsorship Council. One of its tasks was to replace tobacco sponsorship in sport and help sporting bodies find alternative sources of funds. Tobacco advertising and sponsorship have been banned in New Zealand since 1995.  


Neill Atkinson private collection

How to cite this page

All Whites' game against Kuwait, 1981, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated