22 Oct 2015

NZF's Olympic football hopes over?

7:17 pm on 22 October 2015

New Zealand Football has found out the result of their appeal over their Olympic disqualification - but they and the Oceania confederation won't say what the decision is until Friday.

Deklan Wynne - will this be his only official New Zealand team photo? Taken as part of the Junior All Whites head shots, Albany, Auckland, Wednesday 6th May 2015. Photo: Shane Wenzlick

Deklan Wynne - will this be his only official New Zealand team photo? Photo: Photosport

An Oceania Football Confederation spokesperson has confirmed the 30-day period required by their regulations to release the decision over the appeal has ended, and NZF were informed on Thursday.

But OFC's Appeals Committe won't release any statement until Friday. NZ Football's holding a press conference in Auckland.

In July, New Zealand's under-23 men's team were disqualified over an ineligible player, South African-born defender Deklan Wynne, after the Oly Whites beat Vanuatu 2-0 in the semi-finals of the Pacific Games Olympic qualifying tournament in Papua New Guinea.

The ni-Vanuatu went on to lose to Fiji in the final, and unless the appeal to Oceania succeeds - or NZF is successful with a further appeal to sport's highest arbiters, the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland - then New Zealand won't be fielding a men's team at next year's Rio Games.

The international career of Wynne, who's since signed to play with the Vancouver White Caps' second pro team in Major League Soccer, hangs in the balance.

If the appeal fails, the 20-year-old left back won't be eligible to play again for New Zealand until 2018, due to a specific FIFA statute.

Deklan Wynne played for New Zealand at the Under-20 World Cup in June, seen here in action for the Junior All Whites against the USA at North Harbour Stadium, Auckland, Tuesday 2 June 2015. Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.co.nz

Deklan Wynne played for NZ at the U-20 World Cup in June, seen here in action for the Junior All Whites against the USA Photo: Photosport

Article Seven of FIFA's regulations requires any player who wasn't born in the country they're trying to represent, or whose mother or father wasn't born there, to either live continuously for five years in the country, or to become a citizen before the age of 18.

Wynne moved to New Zealand in 2010 when he was 14 - so it was impossible for him to represent the country at junior level without dispensation, according to Article Seven.

NZF argued Wynne qualified under Article Six, which states in one of its clauses that a player may represent a country other than that of their birth if they continuously live there for two years.

They also argued that the Pacific Games Council, who were running the FIFA qualifiers in PNG, had confirmed the squad's eligibility in advance of the tournament, and they were acting in good faith.

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