NZF Statement: OFC eligibility appeal

New Zealand Football’s Executive Committee confirmed on Friday its decision not to appeal the decision of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Appeals Committee, to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

In reaching their decision, President Deryck Shaw says the Executive Committee weighed up a number of factors, including the sentiment of the wider football community who while frustrated by events were wanting closure and attention to move back onto the field.

“Despite legal advice recommending an appeal on a number of grounds on the specific case of the disqualification, we have taken the view not to proceed,” Shaw said.

“One of the key reasons the decision has been made is to mitigate any risk such an action might have on other players who have represented New Zealand under the same interpretation since the rule change in 2008 and any further action from the OFC.”

New Zealand Football maintains its position that the action taken against one of its players and the subsequent disqualification of its Men’s U-23 team from the Pacific Games was unfair.

Shaw said New Zealand Football will now be seeking the support of the OFC and FIFA to change the current FIFA eligibility statutes and their application.

“We want to secure the opportunity for young people who have moved to New Zealand with their families as children and young adults for non-football reasons to play the game they love in New Zealand and represent their adopted country – something the statutes never intended to prevent.”

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Deryck Shaw