SFA angry over New Zealand friendly talk

GORDON Smith has demanded an explanation from the New Zealand Football federation after it claimed the Scottish Football Association had approached the All Whites to play a pre-World Cup friendly.

NZF chief executive Michael Glading accused the SFA of wanting "an arm and a leg" to fly out to Wellington for a match against New Zealand. He also said the Scots remained potential opponents in May on neutral territory in Austria ahead of this summer's World Cup in South Africa.

His comments have not gone down well with SFA chief Smith, who last night denied there were any plans for Scotland to play a friendly at the end of the season.

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He said: "Contrary to speculation emanating from the New Zealand Football Federation, I wish to clarify that Scotland will not be playing a friendly match against New Zealand – or any other nation, for that matter – in May.

"I am at a loss to understand Mr Glading's comments and, indeed, have asked for clarification from his federation.

"Craig Levein, the new national team manager, has already made clear his intention not to arrange a friendly international match at the end of the current domestic season as part of his strategy to ensure a positive Euro 2012 qualification campaign on all fronts.

"The Scottish FA has had no direct negotiations with the New Zealand Football Federation and, thus, has never demanded 'an arm and a leg' for a friendly match we have not scheduled in our fixture calendar."