The South African Football Association has formally protested to FIFA after Hugo Broos’ team suffered a decisive 1-0 defeat in the World Cup qualifiers against Ghana last night. The South Africans are suing the referee, who whistled a particularly controversial penalty for Ghana.
South Africa needed a draw to reach the third and final World Cup qualifying round, but the controversial penalty saw Ghana oust South Africa from first place in the group on goals scored. The penalty kick came after Ghana’s midfielder Daniel Amarty went down after an extremely minor contact with defender Rushine De Reuck, who was also booked at that stage.
“We are going to write to both the African Federation (CAF) and FIFA to investigate how the match was run and to challenge some decisions,” said Tebogo Mothlante, the CEO of the African Football Association. “We notified the match delegate immediately after the match that we would be filing a formal complaint.”
Mothlante clarifies that the complaint is against the decisions and conduct of the Senegalese arbitration, headed by Maguette Ndiaye. “We cannot allow their decisions to destroy the players,” said Mothlante. “We feel robbed, not just by that penalty. There were several questionable decisions. We are going to appoint an expert to analyze it so that we have a strong file.”
South Africa knows better than anyone that matches can be replayed after being forced to replay a 2018 World Cup qualifier against Senegal after the referee was found guilty of match-fixing. South Africa won the original game against Senegal 2-1, but it turned out that Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey had made a number of decisions to make the number of goals scored favorably for certain bets. FIFA replayed the match, with South Africa losing 2-0 to Senegal.
“Of course we’re looking at that precedent,” Mothlante says. “It would only be fair to make the same decision about this match against Ghana. The arbitration has decided on the result, and that must not happen.”