FIFA closes New Zealand 'ineligible player' caseAP , Associated Press
Sep. 11, 2013 4:51 PM ET
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — FIFA has closed a disciplinary case against New Zealand over claims it fielded an ineligible player in a World Cup qualifying match.
FIFA on Wednesday confirmed all charges "are dismissed in full" relating to New Zealand's 2-0 win at the Solomon Islands on March 26.
It was New Zealand's last match in Oceania qualifying after it already advanced to an inter-continental playoff round.
New Zealand included Australian-born defender Andrew Durante in the team that beat the Solomons in an effort to force the sport's world governing body to make a conclusive decision on his eligibility.
The 31-year-old Durante became a New Zealand citizen shortly before the match after living in New Zealand for five years.
FIFA had initially questioned whether Durante had completed a period of residential qualification in time for his debut because of a three-month period he spent on loan to Sydney FC in 2011.
New Zealand will reach the World Cup in Brazil if it wins a two-game intercontinental playoff in October and November. It will face the fourth-placed team from the CONCACAF final group, which could be Mexico.