Safa in race against time to stop FIFA 2018 World Cup LOC from taking final decision against Bafana

07 September 2017 - 17:41 By Sazi Hadebe and Sazi Hadebe
SA Football Association president Danny Jordaan on Wednesday 26 July 2017.
SA Football Association president Danny Jordaan on Wednesday 26 July 2017.
Image: Mninawa Ntloko

The final decision – with no appeal process after that – on whether Bafana Bafana will replay the 2018 World Cup qualifier that they won 2-1 against Senegal in November will be ratified by the Fifa 2018 World Cup organising committee.

This is according to Safa’s Chairperson of Legal Committee and executive member Norman Arendse SC‚ whose department are studying the contents of the decision that was released by Fifa to the public on Wednesday night.

According to Arendse‚ once the Fifa organising committee ratify the decision there can be no appeal process.

He said Safa’s legal representatives were desperately working to be able to give representations on their side of the story‚ which Arendse said had never been asked for from Fifa‚ to the committee before any final decision is made.

Arendse has been tasked by Safa with making sense of the Fifa ruling that ordered the replay of the match in November.

The ruling came after the Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey‚ who awarded the controversial penalty that won the match for Bafana‚ was banned for life for match fixing.

The decision follows the confirmation of the Court of Arbitration for Sport to uphold the lifetime ban of Lamptey.

“We have to file our objection to the organising committee because we suspect if we don’t they will be inclined to go with the Fifa ruling.

"The Fifa organising committee will meet and possibly take a final decision on this matter on the September 14‚” said Arendse.

What Safa were trying to do while also studying the Fifa ruling and other rules‚ was to write to the organising committee appealing to them to give the South African side of the story.

“Since November when this matter was taken to Fifa by Senegal Safa has never been cited to give their side of the story.

"We strongly feel that the organising committee can’t take a final decision without us giving our input on a decision that directly affects us‚” said Arendse.

Arendse repeated what the other executive members of Safa‚ including president Danny Jordaan and CEO Dennis Mumble‚ were saying‚ that “Safa was in no way involved with any wrongdoing related to the actions of the referee”.

Although the Fifa ruling suggested that the match should be replayed in November – a month in which Bafana are to play the second away match against the Senegalese – by Thursday afternoon the global body had not given the actual date.

Bafana‚ whose chances of being among the 32 nations at Russia 2018 next year already were endangered after suffering back-to-back 2-1 defeats against Cape Verde‚ are scheduled to play the second match against Senegal on November 6.

South Africa had four points in last place in Group D pending the Fifa decision‚ needing wins at home against Burkina Faso on October 7‚ then Senegal away‚ and for Cape Verde to lose one of their last two games‚ to progress.

Should their three points against Senegal be nullified‚ it will leave SA having to win three games in a row‚ and the Lions of Teranga twice in a month‚ in a near-mission impossible.

 - TimesLIVE