NZF Statement: OFC eligibility appeal ruling

New Zealand Football confirmed on Friday that the national body had received the Oceania Football Confederation Appeals Committee’s ruling on the appeal against the eligibility of Men’s U-23 player Deklan Wynne and subsequent disqualification of the team at the Pacific Games held in Papua New Guinea in July.

The decision upheld the original ruling following the protest by the Vanuatu Football Federation regarding Wynne’s eligibility to compete in the competition which also served as the qualifying tournament for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

New Zealand Football put forward a number of grounds of appeal in its appeal petition.  Each of these was dismissed by the Appeals Committee.

New Zealand Football CEO Andy Martin said: “We are very disappointed at this outcome given that we were in compliance with the rules of the competition confirmed to us in advance of the tournament, and our interpretation of the relevant FIFA articles relating to player eligibility.”

Martin said New Zealand Football will now consider its options, including a possible appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“The decision around the next course of action will be influenced by a number of factors including the potential grounds for further appeal and the wishes of all affected parties.

“Our players earned the opportunity to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games and we need to carefully consider all options available to us to secure that chance for them,” Martin added.

New Zealand Football will make no further comment until a press conference to be attended by President Deryck Shaw and CEO Andy Martin at 2pm on Friday 23 October at QBE Stadium.

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