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New Zealand threaten legal action over Olympic expulsion

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New Zealand will take legal action as a result of their men’s side’s expulsion from the Olympic qualifying after fielding an ineligible player.

The Kiwis had progressed to the final after beating Vanuatu 2-0 in the semi-finals, but the Oceania Football Confederation upheld Vanuatu’s protest that South African born left back Deklan Wynne was ineligible to play in the game.

As a result, Vanuatu were awarded a 3-0 win, but eventually lost on penalties to Fiji in the final. Fiji will now represent the Oceania region at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

The 20 year old defender had represented the Kiwis at the Fifa Under 20 World Cup in June and has also featured at senior level.

But the OCF’s disciplinary committee declared that Wynne hadn’t met any criteria set out in article seven of the Fifa executive that would allow him to feature for the country.

Wynne was born in South Africa and doesn’t have a New Zealand parent or grandparent, and would have needed to have lived in New Zealand for five years from the age of 18 in order to be eligible.

But the New Zealand Football Committee said they were unaware of the disciplinary hearing and were told the matter was being referred to Fifa. They are now working with lawyers to contest the decision.



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Deklan Wynne football new zealand

About Dale Ventham

Dale Ventham is an editor at The Sports Lowdown. He writes on the lower leagues of English football and Speedway in particular.

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