Chris Rattue wrote:NZF CEO Andy Martin maintained the Pacific Games Council had confirmed the New Zealand players' eligibility before the tournament. A FIFA/Oceania stamp of approval, definitely. One from the Olympic Games committee, maybe. But the Pacific Games Council, whoever the hell they are? Crazy.
It makes me wonder whether NZF was trying to pull a fast one, sneaking a player into the Olympics believing no one would check. NZF statements have waffled on about appealing the process used to throw the Oly Whites out. But it has not pointed to one single eligibility clause in its defence.
You may know some of the people involved personally nzfooty, but it's hard for me to believe that anyone at the NZF would jeopardise an almost guaranteed Olympic spot by fielding a player they knew was ineligible. Maybe I'm naive, but it looks like a simple mistake from the New Zealanders, deriving from the fact that the rules are not straightforward and counter-intuitive and the guy had already played at full international and u20 level.
I remember a similar thing happened to Denmark with the 1988 Olympics qualification. A 2-0 away win over Poland was overturned to a 2-0 defeat after Per Frimann was found to have played too many matches for the full national team and those lost points cost Denmark the spot in Seoul. The General Secretary of the Danish FA was fired for the blunder (after 30 years in the job), but if you look at the players that played that qualification tournament, it's the core of the team that went on to win the European Championship in 1992, so maybe there will also be a silver lining for NZ in the future.