SIFF and player sanctioned
Following a hearing by Oceania Football Confederation Disciplinary and Ethics Committee on 11 December 2019, Solomon Islands’ footballer Maxwell Keana was found in breach of Article 73(1) (Ineligibility) of the OFC Disciplinary Code by playing in five official matches in the OFC U-16 Championship 2018 while he was ineligible to play.
Mr Keana played for the Solomon Islands’ team in the OFC U-16 Championship 2018 in September 2018.
The OFC U-16 Championship 2018 Regulations stipulated eligible players had to be born on or after 1 January 2002. The player has admitted having played in the tournament despite being born on 28 July 1998. The passport Mr Keana used to enter the OFC U-16 Championship had a date of birth of 1 July 2002.
Also, Mr Keana was found in breach of Article 59 (1) and (2)(Forgery and Falsification) of the OFC Disciplinary Code, by obtaining and using a false birth certificate and passport to improperly seek eligibility for the Solomon Islands’ national team in the OFC U-16 Championship 2018 and the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2019.
The OFC Disciplinary and Ethics Committee suspended Maxwell Keana from playing football matches in the Oceania region and from representing an OFC member association or club in an international match for a period of 12 months and imposed a fine of NZ$10,000 on Solomon Islands Football Federation.
The OFC Disciplinary and Ethics Committee also excluded Solomon Islands Football Federation from entering a team in the next OFC qualifying tournament for the next FIFA U-17 World Cup for boys (currently set as the OFC U-16 Championship 2020).