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Welfare fund supports soccer's Rio bid

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 1/06/2016

A player welfare fund has been created to support New Zealand's women footballers as they work towards Olympic glory.

The NZ Football Foundation and the players' union, the NZ Players Football Association, have both provided grants of $60,00 to NZ Football to help support individual players as they train towards the Rio Games.

The initiative is designed to provide financial support to players not able to hold down employment during the intense training period.

New Zealand Football chief executive Andy Martin says the fund will be a real boost for locally based players.

"It isn't easy for those Ferns based in New Zealand competing for a place in the squad for Rio," he said.

"They're required to train full-time, which presents challenges for them in securing funds to meet the costs of living."

Ranked 16th in the world, the Football Ferns play two warm-up games against world No.5 Australia on June 4 and 7.

They face defending Olympic champions the United States in their opening pool match in Rio on August 3.

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