Southern Utd to appeal NZF decision

Southern United will appeal a decision to overturn its season-opening win.

It has been confirmed the club will lose the points from its 4-0 national football premiership win over Tasman United at Logan Park Turf last month.

Tasman had protested the result after Southern fielded two ineligible players, Cameron McKenzie and Cody Brook, as substitutes late in the game.

A review from New Zealand Football found one of those players had been ineligible.

The result will be recorded as a 3-0 win to Tasman.

It means Southern drops from second on nine points to a tie for sixth on six.

Southern released a statement last night confirming it will appeal the decision.

It said it learned of the protest following the game.

After investigating, it discovered a ‘‘minor administrative error’’.

An excel spreadsheet with the players’ names had not been submitted to NZF in time.

Both players were registered in NZF’s digital management system, Comet, and had signed player agreements.

Southern had an opportunity to discuss with Tasman what it felt were ‘‘strong mitigating circumstances’’.

Those included key staff being on bereavement leave, an extremely busy weekend with the Logan Park Turf launch and Juan Pablo Angel visit, the players having minimal impact on the result and the error being such a minor one.

However, Tasman submitted the protest and the game was marked as a forfeit.

Southern said it felt the game was won fairly on the field and the effort had a minimal impact.

However, it also acknowledged and accepted the mistake.

NZF said in a statement it had to follow the guidelines, although it acknowledged the situation.

‘‘The competitions administrator has a significant level of sympathy for Southern United’s situation, however notes that the NZF Disciplinary Code provides no discretion for matters of eligibility.’’

A petition started on Monday to save the points was closed yesterday afternoon after it attracted 489 supporters.

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