WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand Football must take time to reflect on the All Whites failure to qualify for the World Cup finals and conduct a wide-ranging review of its organization before beginning the search for a new coach, former captain Danny Hay has said.
Rikki Herbert's eight-year tenure with the team ended on Wednesday following Mexico's 4-2 victory in the second leg of their intercontinental playoff for a spot at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. Mexico won 9-3 on aggregate.
"I'd like to see us worry not just where the next coach is coming from, but an independent inquiry or review into the entire game and how it's run - right from the top, the administration and how its run, down to the young boys and girls playing," Hay told Television New Zealand on Thursday.
"We need to take a little step back now, take a bit of time and find out how we can progress our game."
Herbert suggested on Wednesday that one avenue to progress could be via an Asia route to World Cups.
NZF has shied away from following trans-Tasman rivals Australia into the Asian Football Confederation because of the pathways Oceania has into FIFA's youth tournaments and the Olympics.
Local pundits, however, have suggested NZF, who are still in the process of recruiting a chief executive after Grant McKavanagh resigned in July, should lobby FIFA to allow the champions of Oceania to enter the final round of Asian qualifying.
Asia currently has four automatic places with the fifth-placed team entering an intercontinental playoff. Oceania has no automatic spot and must face a playoff.
Herbert had lamented the lack of quality opposition for his team in the build-up to the playoffs against Mexico and urged NZF to investigate more opportunities for the side in the future, something Hay agreed with.
"Mexico was always going to be really, really tough," said Hay.
"But in all honesty, they (New Zealand) probably haven't been given the best chance of succeeding, going over to Mexico with the preparation they had was always going to make it very, very difficult for them."
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Peter Rutherford)