New_Zealand_FootballThe Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) on Friday confirmed New Zealand’s ejection from 2016 Olympic qualifiers for fielding an ineligible player.

The Kiwis’ hopes of qualifying for the Rio Games ended dramatically in July, when OFC officials ruled full-back Deklan Wynne was ineligible just hours before they were due to take the field to play for an Olympic berth.

The New Zealanders appealed the decision, arguing South African-born Wynne moved to Auckland with his family as a 14-year-old and had risen through the country’s youth system.

“Following due consideration the committee found that the appeal failed,” the OFC said in a statement.

New Zealand Football (NZF) chief Andy Martin said he was disappointed with the decision, as officials had checked eligibility criteria in advance and thought they were compliant.

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

Former All Whites striker Fred de Jong resigned as NZF high performance director last month over the mix-up.

Fiji, who beat Vanuatu on penalties in the qualifier final, will be Oceania’s representative at the Rio Games next year. – Agence France-Presse

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