AUSTRALIAN-born defender Andrew Durante has finally been granted clearance to play for the All Whites – six months after making his international debut.
Football’s governing body FIFA on Wednesday dropped disciplinary proceedings against New Zealand Football after investigating claims Durante was ineligible to play for the national side.
FIFA said it had dismissed all the charges in full over whether Durante was free to make his NZ debut in the 2-0 win over Solomons Island in Honiara in March.
NZ Football deliberately picked him for the match in an attempt to get his eligibility cleared up.
FIFA’s disciplinary committee found it had not breached the rules.
Durante, 31, took out New Zealand citizenship after meeting the five-year residency rule under New Zealand law but his eligibility remained in doubt over the three months the Wellington Phoenix skipper went on loan to Sydney FC in 2011.
His debut came in the World Cup qualifier that was a dead rubber as New Zealand had already sealed qualification for the intercontinental play-off in November against the fourth-ranked Concacaf team.
He is now clear to play in that match if selected.
Durante has now played three times for the All Whites, appearing most recently as a defensive midfielder in the OSN Cup in Saudi Arabia this month.