Bafana Bafana

SAFA to fight for Bafana justice after World Cup misery: 'We believe there was match manipulation'

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Danny Jordaan (Gallo Images)
Danny Jordaan (Gallo Images)
  • SAFA president Danny Jordaan believes that there was "match manipulation" from referee Maguette Ndiaye in the World Cup qualifier between Bafana Bafana and Ghana.
  • Jordaan further believes that betting took place on the fixture and included it in the formal complaint that was tabled FIFA.
  • SAFA roped in former PSL referee Ace Ncobo to analyse the match to help bolster their case, which he has proven that the referee was "blatantly biased" against Bafana during the clash. 

In a week that questioned the integrity of match officials during the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Bafana Bafana and Ghana, the South African Football Association (SAFA) addressed the nation on Wednesday.

President Danny Jordaan, alongside CEO Tebogo Motlanthe, Bafana head coach Hugo Broos, captain Ronwen Williams, and defender Rushine De Reuck expressed their views on the Sunday game, making it crystal clear that they felt unfairly treated by referee Maguette Ndiaye.

Meanwhile, former Premier Soccer League (PSL) referee Ace Ncobo was also part of the panel after SAFA approached the 64-year-old to dissect the entire match and help lodge a solid complaint to FIFA.

Jordaan said he believes that there was "match manipulation" from Senegalese referee Ndiaye.

Maguette's questionable calls throughout Bafana's final group match saw the home side receive a dubious penalty, which Andre Ayew netted with ease.

SA's leading football body confirmed it had lodged a formal complaint to FIFA to investigate the performance of the match officials during Bafana Bafana's 1-0 loss to Ghana on Sunday.

On Wednesday, FIFA confirmed that it had received a complaint from SAFA and will review the matter before making a final decision.

"We are concerned with certain decisions in the match. We believe there was match manipulation at play," said Jordaan.

"FIFA has a responsibility to protect the integrity of all of its competitions, and that is a responsibility that arises from the FIFA statutes.

"Our duty as SAFA is to recognise first whether there is any bias that we can prove against our team and then report any match manipulation to FIFA."

To further prove his point, Jordaan said betting took place on the match on Sunday and brought it to FIFA's attention in their documents that were filed.

"There was betting on the match. It is a fact that there was betting on the match," Jordaan added.

"We want FIFA to investigate this also. What happens in betting? If you know in the 10th minute the referee is going to give a penalty; then there is a betting spike just before the penalty is given.

"If that happens, if the betting spikes coincide with the decision, then you know. But how is it that there is a betting spike just before a major decision is taken?

"So, they knew when to bet because it's online betting, so you watch the match, and you watch the match because you have the information.

"We don't have the capacity to do that (investigation), so we have asked FIFA to do that." 

Ncobo backed Jordaan's approach after he analysed the referee's decisions throughout the match.

"So, we agree that this is not about the penalty incident that led to the goal, and I am glad that in the president's presentation, he revealed the framework of this submission to FIFA," Ncobo said.

"Let's not speak about 'SAFA appeals penalty decision' - this is not about the penalty decision.

"This submission is about a firm suspicion that the match was unlawfully manipulated, and I am going to prove it."

Ncobo went into detail about Article 18 of FIFA's Disciplinary Code, which Sport24's senior sports writer Khanyiso Tshwaku brilliantly explains here.

Then, the former PSL referee added further fuel to the fire.

He revealed that "90,9% of incorrect decisions" went against Bafana at Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Sunday.

"My independent conclusion is that the referee in this match was blatantly biased against South Africa," he said.

"90,9% of incorrect decisions against one team is a clear case of a match official unlawfully influencing and/or manipulating the course and/or the outcome of the match.

"I spent five hours and 17 minutes watching the first half and putting together the report. There were 71 major incidents during the game."

"If you look at the pattern of bias, you will see that there was no way that South Africa was going to score in that match. This is not only about the penalty but the match in its entirety," said Ncobo.

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