The OFC Disciplinary Committee has disqualified the Solomon Islands team that came in second at last year’s OFC U16 Championship for the use of an ineligible player. They have also been thrown out of the U17 World Cup in October. The Solomon Islands Football Federation has appealed the decision.
Striker Chris Satu is the player in question, and he played in every single match for the Solomon Islands as they finished runners-up. They will now forfeit those matches.
The statement from the committee read:
“We find Chris Satu to be in breach of Article 73 of the OFC Disciplinary Code as he took part as a player in an official match despite being ineligible because he was born before 1 January 2002.
“We find Chris Satu to be in breach of Article 59 (1) of the OFC Disciplinary Code as used a false document, a birth certificate, to obtain a passport (number 112932) with a false birthdate, to enter the U16 OFC Championship 2018.”
Satu picks up a six-match suspension while SIFF will receive a fine of NZ$500.
SIFF President William Lai tells Football in Oceania that he is very saddened by the news:
“It is very bad news for us. It is very sad as we did not expect this to come. Personally, I believe in hard work to chase a football dream and in the end, it looks like it is going away.”
Lai say they will appeal the decision and an independent investigation into the matter will be carried out.
“I am lost for words, but, the fraudulent act by Chris Satu is not acceptable and spoil the dreams of other players. It is a shame because this group of boys are the victim of the player”
The OFC Executive Committee will meet to confirm which team will take the Solomon Islands place in the World Cup in Peru in October, should the ban be upheld following the appeal.