Sanctions have been lifted against Manukau United for substituting two young players after only 13 seconds of a Northern League fixture.
The club was initially fined $500 and their head coach suspended for a week after NZ Football reviewed the incident from Manukau’s match at Takapuna on May 14.
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NZ Football had ruled Manukau’s actions had brought the game into disrepute and had breached the NZF Code of Conduct.
National League regulations require a minimum of two U-20 players to start a match.
In the May 14 case, Manukau fielded two U-20 players but substituted them at the first opportunity.
However, the New Zealand Football Disciplinary Committee has since rescinded the NZF ruling.
On its website, NZ Football explained:
“The Disciplinary Committee found that while there are requirements to start two U-20s players in the competition regulations, as there is no minimum time the players need to play for requirements, the original decision has been overruled.”
Following the decision, New Zealand Football Competitions and Events Director Kevin Forde said:
“We fundamentally believe this regulation plays a major role in the development of young talent, one of the driving forces behind the relaunched National League competition, but we respect the decision of the Disciplinary Committee. The fact that hundreds of National League games have been played without this being an issue suggests that clubs are looking to play in the spirit the rule was intended.
“Prior to this incident we had already established a technical working group, made up of representatives from across the game, to assess the impact of the competition regulations that require two U-20 players to start each National League match. This group will also be considering alternative regulations to promote youth player development and be providing their recommendations ahead of the 2023 competition.”
New Zealand Football will not be appealing the Disciplinary Committee decision and will be taking no further action on the incident. There will be no changes to the existing rule during the current season.