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New Zealand take legal action over Olympic football disqualification

New Zealand are to take legal action after their men's team were thrown out of Olympic qualifying for fielding an ineligible player.

The Kiwis were due to play Fiji in the final of the Oceania qualifiers after beating Vanuatu 2-0 in the semi-finals.

But the Oceania Football Confederation (OCF) upheld Vanuatu's protest that South-African born Deklan Wynne was ineligible to play in the match.

Vanuatu were then awarded a 3-0 win, but lost to Fiji in Sunday's final.

Fiji will represent the Oceania region at next year's Rio Olympics after beating Vanuatu 4-3 on penalties.

Left-back Wynne, 20, represented New Zealand at the Fifa Under-20 World Cup last month and has played at senior level after becoming a naturalized New Zealander.

The OCF's disciplinary committee ruled on Sunday that Wynne did not meet any of the criteria set out in article seven of the Fifa statutes, that would allow him to represent New Zealand.

Wynne, who was not born in New Zealand and doesn't have a New Zealand parent or grandparent, would have to have lived in New Zealand for five years from the age of 18 to be eligible.

New Zealand Football said it was not aware of the disciplinary hearing and was told the matter was being referred to Fifa.

They are now working with their lawyers to contest the committee's decision

Chief executive Andy Martin said: "While we firmly believe that the match should have been delayed, we will continue to do everything in our power to ensure that any final decision is only reached after a proper and fair process has been carried out.

"We trust that Oceania Football Confederation will change its position and conduct that proper and fair process."

BBC

That seems like a ridiculous reason, on the face of it, for a player not being eligible.

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NZ haven't got a leg to stand on. Plenty of teams have been DQed from matches for fielding ineligible players. NZ are unlucky it was a knockout match where they screwed up.

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NZ haven't got a leg to stand on. Plenty of teams have been DQed from matches for fielding ineligible players. NZ are unlucky it was a knockout match where they screwed up.

I can believe they broke the existing rule, but the rule itself is ridiculous. If you where naturalized as a child and never played for any other country there is no sane reason for you being ineligible.

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Yes its a disaster for New Zealand Football. They are appealing but doesnt look like it will be successful. Very disappointing that this has happened. You got to feel sorry for the team who have put many hours into training and preparing for the chance to compete at an olympic Games for it to end like this. Not good at all and Football NZ really need to look at their processes to ensure that this doesnt happen again.

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Netherlands to stage Olympic qualifiers

Published: Wednesday 22 July 2015, 12.30CET

The Netherlands will host a mini-tournament also involving Norway, Sweden and Switzerland in March to decide UEFA's third qualifiers for the 2016 women's Olympic competition in Brazil.

UEFA has three slots in the event, which were decided by performances at the FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada. Fourth-placed Germany and quarter-finalists France booked their Brazil campaigns but the best World Cup performers, bronze-medallists England, do not enter Olympic football.

Therefore the four UEFA nations eliminated in the World Cup round of 16 will play off for the remaining berth, each team meeting each other once on 2, 5 and 9 March. UEFA has appointed UEFA Women's EURO 2017 hosts Netherlands to stage the Olympic qualifiers, with exact venues to be confirmed by the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) at a later date.

Fixtures

Wednesday 2 March: Norway v Sweden, Switzerland v Netherlands

Saturday 5 March: Norway v Netherlands, Sweden v Switzerland

Wednesday 9 March: Switzerland v Norway, Netherlands v Sweden

...

UEFA

http://www.uefa.com/womensworldcup/news/newsid=2266686.html

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Zimbabwe sanctioned for Olympic qualifying no-show

The qualifying match for the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016 that was scheduled for 19 July 2015 between Côte d’Ivoire and Zimbabwe has been declared a 3-0 forfeit victory for Côte d’Ivoire.

FIFA opened disciplinary proceedings after Zimbabwe failed to travel to Côte d’Ivoire for the match, which was the first leg of the third round of Olympic qualifiers for the African zone.

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee decided that the match should be forfeited, in accordance with art. 31 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, and ordered the Zimbabwe Football Association to pay a fine of CHF 10,000 after being found to be liable for the violation of art. 6 par. 1, art. 6 par. 3 e), art. 7 par. 1, and art. 7 par. 10 of the Regulations for the Olympic Football Tournaments.

The relevant parties were notified of the decision on Wednesday 29 July.

FIFA

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Zimbabwe and South Africa qualify for women's Olympic football

Zimbabwe's women beat Cameroon 1-0 in the second leg of their final Olympic qualifier in Harare to book a place at Rio 2016.

They will be joined at next year's Olympics by South Africa who defeated Equatorial Guinea in Bata 1-0.

...

BBC

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This is Zimbabwe's first Olympic team sports participation since the legendary 1980 women's field hockey team, an all-white team that was hastily assembled in such a quick period before the start of the Moscow Olympics--and won gold in a boycott-affected women's field that had 6 teams in Moscow. Certainly that makes up for not hosting the FIFA Women's World Cup when bidding against Canada.

Happy that Bayana Bayana qualified again for the Olympics. Should've made it to Canada this summer and perhaps surprised some people there. They certainly wouldn't be thrashed 10-0 by the DFB-Frauen (Germany) like they they did with the Ivory Coast's Elephants in Ottawa. :)

Bayana Bayana star Janine van Wyk, easily one of the more recognizable Afrikaners in South African soccer where there aren't that many down there, is "incredibly over the moon" with this qualification and that it makes up not making it for the WWC. Being in Canada would've gave her and her team greater exposure as to who they are:

http://www.supersport.com/football/south-africa/news/151019/Olympics_eases_World_Cup_pain_Janine

Surely SuperSport will profile both in the lead-up to Rio next year and give them ample coverage.

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Match schedule for Rio 2016 unveiled

(FIFA.com)

10 Nov 2015

The match schedule for the next Men's and Women's Olympic Football Tournaments has been unveiled, with the iconic Maracana stadium set to host both finals. It has also been revealed that the opening game of Rio 2016, which will be the first group game in the women's competition, will be played at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, kicking off at 13.00 local time on Wednesday 3 August.

In total, seven stadiums complete the line-up, with 2014 FIFA World Cup™ host venues in Belo Horizonte, the capital Brasilia, Manaus, Salvador and Sao Paulo all ready to welcome fans from across the world to what promises to be a veritable feast of football.

As at London 2012, the hosts have been drawn as A1 and E1 in their respective tournaments. This means that, during the group stage, the home crowd will be able to cheer on its men in Brasilia and Salvador, and its women in Rio de Janeiro and Manaus.

Men's tournament

Opening Match (Thursday 4 August): Brasilia

Quarter-finals (Saturday 13 August): Brasilia, Salvador, Belo Horizonte, Sao Paulo

Semi-finals (Wednesday 17 August): Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro (Maracana Stadium)

Bronze medal match (Saturday 20 August): Belo Horizonte

Gold medal match (Saturday 20 August): Rio de Janeiro (Maracana Stadium)

Women's tournament

Opening Match (Wednesday 3 August): Rio de Janeiro (Olympic Stadium)

Quarter-finals (Friday 12 August): Brasilia, Salvador, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte

Semi-finals (Tuesday 16 August): Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro (Maracana Stadium)

Bronze medal match (Friday 19 August): Sao Paulo

Gold medal match (Friday 19 August): Rio de Janeiro (Maracana Stadium)

http://resources.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/02/73/19/20/olympicgames_rio_matchschedulemix_fifa_12102015_neutral.pdf

http://www.fifa.com/mensolympic/news/y=2015/m=10/news=match-schedule-for-rio-2016-unveiled-2709515.html

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Meet Errejota, the new Adidas Rio soccer ball. Because next year, the game belongs to it. Will also be used for December's FIFA World Club Championship when it returns to Japan. Looks nice with the nod to Brazil's colors:

Soundtrack: João Brasil – Errejota no Comando (feat. Nego do Borel)

Adidas press release (in Brazilian Portuguese):

http://news.adidas.com/BR/Latest-News/ALL/errejota---cidade-maravilhosa--a-inspirao-da-adidas-para-bola-oficial-de-2016/s/c19e1679-b104-4f7a-b34c-4407282f314a

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Draw Determines Groups for the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship

Miami, FL (Monday, November 23, 2015) – The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) today conducted the draw for the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, at the InterContinental Doral in greater Miami.

The draw, which determined the groups and match schedule for the tournament that kicks off on February 10, 2016, in Frisco, TX, was opened with a welcoming address from FIFA and CONCACAF Executive Committee Member Sonia Bien-Aime. The event was conducted with the assistance of former US Women’s National Team players Cat Whitehill and Tiffany Roberts.

The draw sorted the eight qualified national teams into two groups of four. Defending Olympic and CONCACAF Champion United States was sorted into Group A along with Puerto Rico, Mexico and Costa Rica, while Group B will contain Canada, Guatemala, Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana.

The Toyota Stadium in Frisco, TX will host all group matches for Group A, while the BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, TX will host all of the Group B matches, the semifinals and final.

The two finalists at the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship 2016 will qualify directly to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship 2016 Groups

Group A

USA

Puerto Rico

Mexico

Costa Rica

Group B

Canada

Guatemala

Trinidad & Tobago

Guyana

...

http://www.concacaf.com/article/draw-determines-groups-for-the-2016-concacaf-womens-olympic-qualifying-championship

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NZ women qualify for Rio after PNG fail to show

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - The New Zealand women's football team have qualified for this year's Rio Olympics after Papua New Guinea failed to travel to Auckland for the second leg of their qualifying final having failed to obtain the necessary visas.

New Zealand had won the first leg of the Oceania qualifying final 7-1 in Lae last Saturday and returned home to prepare for the second leg on Tuesday.

The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) and New Zealand Football (NZF) said on Tuesday Papua New Guinea had withdrawn from the tie due to the visa issue.

...

https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/nz-women-qualify-rio-png-fail-show-001505920--sow.html

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Japan grabbed Asia's first ticket to Men's Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016 with a 2-1 semi-final victory over Iraq at the AFC U-23 Championships in Doha

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NZ women qualify for Rio after PNG fail to show

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - The New Zealand women's football team have qualified for this year's Rio Olympics after Papua New Guinea failed to travel to Auckland for the second leg of their qualifying final having failed to obtain the necessary visas.

New Zealand had won the first leg of the Oceania qualifying final 7-1 in Lae last Saturday and returned home to prepare for the second leg on Tuesday.

The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) and New Zealand Football (NZF) said on Tuesday Papua New Guinea had withdrawn from the tie due to the visa issue.

...

https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/nz-women-qualify-rio-png-fail-show-001505920--sow.html

Good to see the New Zealand womens team qualify after the issues that led to the mens team being thrown out.

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Some sort of poetic justice for New Zealand soccer. Still upset the men won't go. Disappointed that Australia's Olyroos won't go again to the Olympics; Australia's 2006 move to the AFC indeed has helped the Socceroos and the Matildas in World Cup/Asian Cup comps but not when it comes to their Olympic versions with limited allotments for Asia. Has helped NZ Soccer along with additional FIFA funding over recent years that Wynton Rufer points out.

As far as CONCACAF women's qualifying goes, it's no doubt USA's and Canada's to lose. Miles ahead of everybody else. New era begins with the US women. Mexico is capable, and Costa Rica is surely getting better with more investments into the program over the years and some success in Canada this past summer. Trinidad & Tobago could use this motivation for not qualifying to Canada but will fall short again. Guyana is a rank outsider. (Where's the Cuban and Haitian women?)

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Messi will not play at Rio Olympics, says Argentina coach

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Lionel Messi will not chase a second Olympic football gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Games in August, Argentina coach Gerardo Martino said on Monday.

Martino added he did not want the Barcelona forward, who will captain Argentina at the Centennial Copa America in the United States in June, to suffer burnout after a demanding season.

He can take three over-age players in his under-23 squad to the Rio Games but Messi, who helped Argentina win their second Olympic football title in Beijing in 2008, will not be one of them.

"Messi won't go to the Olympic Games because there is a lot of competition for the national team this year," Martino said with World Cup qualifiers also in mind.

"We have the Copa America, the Olympic Games and after that four rounds of the qualifiers," he told Radio La Red.

"The reality at Barcelona shows the season will be long. I want to win very much but not at any price, nor for throwing the players on to the pitch for them to die there."

Messi led Argentina to the 2014 World Cup final in Rio where they lost 1-0 to Germany after extra time.

The 16-team Copa America, to celebrate 100 years of the world’s oldest active international football tournament, will be played from June 3-26 with the 10-member nations of South America's CONMEBOL and six from rival region CONCACAF taking part.

Argentina, who also won Olympic gold at the 2004 Athens Games, failed to qualify for London 2012.

Reuters

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/02/02/messi-will-not-play-rio-olympics-says-argentina-coach

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