The South African Football Association (Safa) will lodge a formal complaint with Fifa over the referee’s performance in South Africa’s pivotal World Cup qualifying loss to Ghana on Sunday night.
South Africa lost 1-0 against Ghana after a contentious penalty was converted. Bafana Bafana needed a draw to advance to the third and final round of African qualifying.
The Black Stars’ tight victory allowed them to qualify for the African World Cup play-offs by the tiniest of margins, eliminating South Africa from first place in the group based only on goals scored.
The penalty was awarded when Daniel Amartey of Leicester City went down after what appeared to be a slight touch from defender Rushine de Reuck, who was booked for his challenge.
“We will be writing to both [Confederation of African Football] Caf and Fifa – firstly to investigate how the game was handled and secondly to challenge some of these decisions,” Safa CEO Tebogo Monthlante said on Monday.
“As we did last night, we have already registered with the match commissioner that we will be making a formal complaint.”
Safa is concerned about the legitimacy of both the judgment and the performance of the Senegalese officiating squad, led by referee Maguette Ndiaye, according to Monthlante.
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“We are very disheartened by their actions and we can’t let it destroy the players – when we have the chance to challenge, we will challenge,” he added.
“We feel very much robbed because it is not an isolated incident of a penalty. There are just a lot of questionable decisions by match officials and we will get an expert to dissect other incidents, so we can make a strong case.”
Has such a thing happened before?
After being forced to replay a 2018 World Cup qualifier against Senegal after the referee was found guilty of match tampering, South Africa is well aware that matches can be replayed.
The South Africans had previously defeated Senegal 2-1, with Fifa later determining that Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey ‘obviously took two erroneous decisions’ ‘with the sole objective of facilitating a minimum number of goals to make certain bets successful.’
“Of course we are looking at the precedent whereby Fifa ordered us to replay Senegal and we think that if justice needs to be served the same decision should be taken against this Ghana game,” added Monthlante.
“The match officials have decided the game which is not what is supposed to happen.”