New Zealand Football (NZF) has confirmed it will appeal the disqualification of its men’s under-23 team from 2016 Olympic Games qualifying.
The Kiwis were ruled to have fielded an ineligible player – Deklan Wynne – in their semi-final win over Vanuatu.
It led to their disqualification, and Vanuatu advanced to the final before suffering a penalty shoot-out loss to Fiji.
NZF was considering an appeal and the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) last week told it the grounds for the suspension.
NZF chief executive Andy Martin said the body’s executive committee had met and decided to appeal.
“Having had the opportunity to review all of the information now available, we remain disappointed at the sequence of events that led to the harsh decision to disqualify our team,” he said.
“The Executive Committee has therefore unanimously agreed that there are sufficient grounds to appeal, both in terms of the process undertaken, and the rules applied. We will be filing our appeal later this week.
“In the meantime our players remain our top priority. Our management team is currently reviewing all of our internal processes and eligibility information to ensure we do not put ourselves in a position where this could happen again.
“We intend to have this internal review completed in the next few weeks, and once complete we will put in place a programme of action to remedy any eligibility concerns should any arise. This work programme is our key focus, and will be completed irrespective of the outcome of the appeal.”
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