New Zealand Football claim 2019 Pacific Games provides ideal preparation for Olympic qualifier

February 11, 2019

New Zealand are set to field an under-23 side at the Pacific Games in Samoa as part of their plans for the Oceania Olympic qualifying tournament in Fiji later this year.

Securing a spot at Tokyo 2020 has taken on extra significance for New Zealand after they were thrown out of the Olympic qualifier for Rio 2016 - held alongside the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea in 2015 - for fielding an ineligible player.

New Zealand were dramatically expelled from the competition hours before they were due to play Fiji for a place at Rio 2016 after a protest made by semi-final opponents Vanuatu over the eligibility of South African-born Deklan Wynne for the under-23 team.

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