Safa calls for investigation into alleged match-fixing over Bafana’s defeat

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Andre Ayew of Ghana and Siyanda Xulu of South Africa. Photo: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images/Getty Images
Andre Ayew of Ghana and Siyanda Xulu of South Africa. Photo: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images/Getty Images

SPORT


Safa alleges that match-fixing was at play in Bafana Bafana’s 1-0 defeat to Ghana in their final World Cup qualifying group match on Sunday night.

Senegalese referee Moguetta Ndiaye penalised defender Rushine De Reuck for a supposed foul on Black Stars' Daniel Amartey when there was no clear contact between the two players during a scramble from a corner kick.

Andre Ayew converted from the spot in what turned out to be the goal that dashed Bafana’s hopes for a Qatar World Cup dream.

READ: Sad end to Bafana’s Qatar dream

Safa CEO Tebogo Motlanthe, however, warned that Safa would fight what it strongly believe was an injustice.

“We went to the match commissioner [Kachalla Babagana Kalli from Nigeria] after the game and told him our intension to lodge a complaint with both Fifa and CAF on how the officiating of the game was,” Motlanthe told a two-person South African media at the team’s base last night.

Motlanthe said:

It was a daylight robbery. The penalty incident was not in isolation. We’ll be writing an official letter to Fifa and CAF tomorrow [today].

In the meantime, Motlanthe said Safa will commission experts to analyse the disputed game.

“We’ll get a former referee to do the analysis so that the current referees and those who serve on Fifa panels are not compromised. After analysing the game, we will then submit and talk about the precedent which was set with the Senegal game.”

In 2017, Fifa ordered the World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Senegal to be replayed after the Senegalese Football Federation lodged a protest over referee Joseph Lamptey’s handling of the game, which included the incorrect awarding of a penalty to Bafana.

Bafana won the game in Polokwane 2-1.

Lamptey, from Ghana, was subsequently handed a life ban for match manipulation.

“We’ll use the Senegal game where Fifa requested us to replay because of the referee’s action, and not ours. [The Ghana game] is of similar nature and we believe in many ways that it was fixed. We are collecting information that will be used to support our case.”

READ: Fifa orders replay of tainted Senegal v Bafana qualifier

He elaborated: “Already before we could play, it was well known everywhere – on the media platforms and the team [Ghana] itself. They already knew they were gonna get a penalty and it was just a question of when. And when it happened, it confirmed all these things that were shared.

“It was not a coincidence that the video analyst of Ghana, when they were playing Ethiopia [at Orlando Stadium in Soweto last Thursday], that they were looking for some videos where our goalkeeper falls during penalties.”

Motlanthe also lauded the team for their gallant fight against a Ghana side that played before a strong crowd.

He said: 

We would like to thank the players and the technical team for the commitment they have shown to the association and the country, that they came here and gave their best. Unfortunately, one man in the middle had to decide the game. We’ll continue to support the players emotionally as we are fighting this matter.

Ayew, Ghana’s captain, converted from the disputed penalty 34 minutes into the game.

He and his coach Milovan Rajevac maintained that the Black Stars won fairly.

“We won fair and square,” insisted Ayew during the post-match conference.

“Yes, it was a tough game, South Africa came and did their job at us. We could have scored more, and I think the penalty was not the only one. Jordan [Ayew] was clipped.”


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Daniel Mothowagae 

Deputy sports editor

+27 11 713 9001
Daniel.Mothowagae@citypress.co.za
www.citypress.co.za
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park
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Daniel Mothowagae 

Deputy sports editor

+27 11 713 9001
Daniel.Mothowagae@citypress.co.za
www.citypress.co.za
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park

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