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Safa to ask Fifa and Caf to investigate match fixing suspicions after officials’ dubious calls in Bafana game

15 November 2021 - 07:30 By MNINAWA NTLOKO
SA Football Association CEO Tebogo Motlanthe says they want Fifa and Caf to investigate the conduct of match officials in the Bafana match against Ghana.
SA Football Association CEO Tebogo Motlanthe says they want Fifa and Caf to investigate the conduct of match officials in the Bafana match against Ghana.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

The SA Football Association (Safa) suspects Bafana Bafana's defeat to Ghana in a crunch 2022 World Cup qualifier on Sunday night may have been fixed, and the sports body wants football governing body Fifa and the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to investigate the conduct of the match officials.

Senegalese referee Maguette Ndiaye and his colleagues Samba Elhadji Malick (assistant I), Camara Djibril (assistant II) and Gueye Daouda (fourth referee) delivered one of the most shocking performances by a team of match officials ever seen in an international match to ensure Ghana beat Bafana 1-0 at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium through a dubious penalty on Sunday.

Besides the harsh penalty, the Senegalese officials made several other questionable calls that have prompted Safa to suspect there may have been match fixing involved.

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Incensed Safa CEO Tebogo Motlanthe told TimesLIVE they would not take the outcome of the match lying down and action must be taken against the match officials.

"We suspect the game was fixed and our position is that it must be investigated. The conduct of the match officials left much to be desired and we want both Caf and Fifa to investigate. We salute the boys and the technical team for the good work they have done," Motlanthe said.

Safa informed the match commissioner on the day, Kachalla Babagana Kalli from Nigeria, of their intention to escalate their suspicions about Ndiaye and his colleagues to Fifa and Caf.

Safa are expected to address the nation this week and detail how they plan to challenge a result that saw Bafana crash out of the qualifiers in heartbreaking fashion. A video analysis of the match officials' performance will be made, highlighting the violation of the rules of the game on a decision by decision basis until he blew the final whistle.

Safa will ask Fifa and Caf to deal with the matter on an urgent basis and for the match to be replayed in a neutral venue not in Ghana.

Referee Ndiaye bizarrely awarded the penalty after deciding Rushine De Reuck fouled Daniel Amartey inside the area when there was barely contact between the two players. The ball was floated into the area by Daniel-Kofi Kyereh after a corner kick and as the two sets of players positioned themselves, Amartey suddenly collapsed in apparent agony. The Ghanaian player dropped to the ground in such dramatic fashion you would have sworn he was hit by a speeding Gautrain.

De Reuck was stunned when Ndiaye immediately pointed to the penalty spot, but the Senegalese match official was not done. He proceeded to hand the bemused Bafana player a yellow card as if to suggest his decision was justified. Television replays showed that not only did Ghana not deserve the penalty, Amartey should consider a career in acting at the end of his playing days.

The two sides finished on 13 points in the group, but Ghana proceeded to the next round of qualifying due to more goals scored. It was one of the closest finishes during the qualifier and, in the end, it was the actions of the match officials that tipped the outcome in favour of the West Africans. 

Bafana will return to SA on Monday hoping to pick up the pieces after losing the game in such dubious and heartbreaking circumstances.