Update on Brentford goalkeeper in Under-23 tournament
Nik Tzanev’s dreams of playing in the Olympic Games appear to be over after an eligibility issue prevented New Zealand playing in the early hours of this morning.
Brentford’s teenage goalkeeper was in New Zealand’s Under-23 squad for the Pacific Games tournament which doubles as qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro and start next August.
New Zealand won their way through to the final and were due to play Fiji at 2.30pm local time, 5.30am BST, today, Sunday 12 July.
However, New Zealand were ruled to have fielded an ineligible player and were thrown out of the competition.
Vanuatu, who lost to New Zealand in the semi-final, were put through but lost to Fiji on penalties.
New Zealand have, however, challenged the decision.
The winner of the tournament – Fiji as it stands – qualifies for the Olympic Games.
Nik, 18, has three Under-20 caps but has yet to play at the higher level.