WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) A senior New Zealand football official has resigned in response to the disqualification of the country's under-23 team from an Olympic qualifying tournament for fielding an ineligible player.
High Performance Director Fred de Jong said Monday that he accepted responsibility for the ''issues of eligibility'' at the Oceania Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Papua in New Guinea in July, despite the fact Football New Zealand is legally challenging the disqualification.
New Zealand's under-23 team was disqualified from the tournament hours before the final when it was discovered that South African-born player Deklan Wynne, who had played in the semifinals, did not meet FIFA eligibility criteria.
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New Zealand had been strongly favored to win the tournament, but instead Fiji qualified to play at next year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.