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Herdman stresses commitment to Canada after links to New Zealand job

Mike Egerton - PA Images / PA Images / Getty

John Herdman has reaffirmed his commitment to coaching the Canadian men's national team following a report from New Zealand that he'd accepted an offer to oversee the All Whites.

Numerous Canadian outlets relayed a report published late Tuesday night by Andrew Gourdie of NewsHub that claimed Herdman was set to take over New Zealand before a personal matter put the process on hold.

However, Herdman and Canada Soccer executives refuted that report as they focus on preparations for the 2026 World Cup.

"Success at this level will always invite opportunity," Herdman said in a statement. "I've received several offers in recent months, all of which I have turned down, including an offer from New Zealand Football.

"To our Canadian players and our fans, I want to reiterate my commitment to Canada Soccer and the growing of his program. At the World Cup in Qatar, our men showed the world that they belong at that level. I'm not going anywhere. We still have a job to do, and the objective is to take this team to the next level in 2026."

Andrew Pragnell, the CEO of New Zealand Football, was quoted in Gourdie's report saying the association's preferred candidate was "100%" committed to taking the role before an unforeseen issue prevented the candidate from coaching matches in March. Pragnell didn't mention Herdman specifically.

Herdman oversaw the New Zealand women's team at the 2007 and 2011 World Cups and also coached the Under-20 team at two World Cups. He took control of Canada's women's team in 2011, leading it to bronze-medal finishes at two Olympics, before taking an unconventional leap to become head coach of the men's team in January 2018.

He subsequently led the men's team to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar - its first appearance on football's biggest stage since 1986 - and has been credited for his man-management skills and tactical acumen during his time in the position.

"There is no doubt how much passion and commitment John and his coaching staff have poured into our men's national team program, taking our men from outsiders to our first World Cup in 36 years," Canada Soccer general secretary Earl Cochrane said.

"Everyone in our organization is committed to John and his coaching staff and he is the right person to take our country to new heights."

The Canucks will face Curacao and Honduras in the CONCACAF Nations League in March.

Canada will cohost the 2026 World Cup with the United States and Mexico, so the men's team automatically qualifies for that tournament.

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