Baku. 13 July. REPORT.AZ/ Fiji’s under-23 men’s side advanced to next year’s Rio Olympics after a 4-3 victory penalties over Vanuatu following New Zealand’s expulsion from the final for fielding an ineligible player during the tournament. The final had ended 0-0 after extra time, Report informs.
Fiji is the first country other than Australia or New Zealand to represent Oceania at the Olympic soccer tournament, though its qualification was mired in controversy.
New Zealand defender Deklan Wynne, who was born in South Africa, was deemed ineligible just hours before the final against the Fijians by an Oceania Football Confederation disciplinary committee, a decision that angered New Zealand Football who felt the game should have been postponed.
"Given the circumstances regarding the process around the decision, Sunday’s Olympic qualifying final should have been postponed,” NZF chief executive Andy Martin said.