FIFA confirms SAFA protest against Ghana win

BY: Kweku Zurek

World football governing body, FIFA, has confirmed receiving a complaint from the South Africa Football Association (SAFA) in respect of their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Ghana which they lost 0-1 at the Cape Coast Stadium last Sunday.

Confirmation

FIFA, in a statement in response to a query on the issue by Daily Graphic said: "FIFA has received a complaint from the South African FA in relation to this matter and will review it. Please understand we cannot comment further at this stage".

It will be recalled that the Black Stars of Ghana defeated Bafana Bafana of South Africa 1-0 in their final Group G match in Cape Coast last Sunday to qualify for the play-off of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The only goal was scored by skipper Andre Ayew from the penalty spot after Ghana defender Daniel Amartey was fouled in the box.

Replays of the incident showed that South African defender, Rushine de Reuck, held the Leicester defender after a corner kick was floated in his direction by Daniel Kyere. Senegalese Referee Maguette Ndiaye readily awarded the penalty which was expertly converted by Ayew.

Ghana trailed South Africa by three points prior to the match and victory was the only required result to seal qualification to the final round of the qualifiers, while the South Africans only needed a draw.

Complaint

In the aftermath of the match, SAFA CEO, Tebogo Motlanthe, indicated his association's intent to lodge a formal complaint with FIFA to investigate the conduct of the match officials.

"The association (SAFA) has decided to lodge a formal complaint so that the conduct of the match officials are closely investigated by both FIFA and CAF but we will be having a press conference to tell the nation what will be happening going forward," Mr Motlanthe said in a tweet shared by the team's Twitter account.

In 2016, South Africa had to replay a World Cup qualifier they won 2-1 against Senegal after Ghanaian referee, Joseph Lamptey, was found guilty of unlawfully influencing the match result by FIFA.

Lamptey, who wrongly awarded a penalty to the South Africans, was later handed a life ban, while Senegal won the replay 2-0 and qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.