FIFA have opened disciplinary proceedings against New Zealand for allegedly fielding an ineligible player in a World Cup qualifying match.
The fixture in question is an Oceania region qualifying match against the Solomon Islands in March, when Ricki Herbert's side won 2-0 thanks to two strikes from Tim Payne.
FIFA have cited article 55 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code and article eight of the Regulations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil as their reasoning for opening the proceedings against New Zealand, who have reached the intercontinental play-off having won their section of qualifying.
Regardless of the result of the proceedings, New Zealand will still contest the play-off match against the side who finish fourth in the North, Central America and the Caribbean section of qualifying as they finished top of their qualifying group by six points and should any action be taken then they would still be three points clear of second place New Caledonia.
Article 55 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code states that: "If a player takes part in an ofﬁcial match despite being ineligible, his team will be sanctioned by forfeiting the match and paying a minimum ﬁne of CHF (Swiss Francs) 6,000."
While article eight of the Regulations for the 2014 World Cup Brazil states: "Each association shall ensure the following when selecting its representative team for the FIFA World Cup: (a) all players shall hold the nationality of its country and be subject to its jurisdiction; (b) all players shall be eligible for selection in accordance with the FIFA Statutes, the Regulations Governing the Application of the Statutes and other relevant FIFA rules and regulations."
The New Zealand Football Association have been invited by the world governing body to provide its position, together with any documentary evidence it might deem appropriate against the proceedings.
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