Father of Oceania
Soccer administrator Charles Dempsey, life member of both New Zealand football and world football body FIFA, has died, aged 86. Dempsey was instrumental in both the founding of the Oceania Football Confederation in 1964 and the awarding of full confederation status in 1996. Former All Whites player Brian Turner said his teammates from the 1982 era all held Dempsey in the highest regard. “I honestly think that if Charlie wasn’t around, we wouldn’t have gone to the World Cup,” Turner told New Zealand’s Radio Sport. “Charlie was the man at the forefront of all the fundraising and was the figurehead of the whole ’82 campaign.” Oceania Football Confederation general secretary Tai Nicholas said Dempsey’s contribution had been enormous: “Not only in New Zealand and the Oceania region but around the world. We consider him the father of Oceania and he’s well respected at FIFA. “He leaves a great legacy,” said Nicholas, who worked with Dempsey for 12 years. Dempsey will be most remembered for not casting a vote at a 2000 FIFA meeting to decide which country hosted the 2006 World Cup, costing South Africa the right. He was born in Maryhill, Scotland, in 1922 and migrated to New Zealand in 1952.
Charles Dempsey: 4 March 1921 – 24 June 2008