Johannesburg- In their appeal for the match to be replayed, the South African Football Association (Safa) are capitalising on information doing the rounds in west Africa that a top Ghanaian Football Federation (GFA) official visited Senegal prior to the controversial Fifa Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifier against South Africa in the Cape Coast city of Ghana two weeks ago.
Controversial referee Maguette N’Diaye, who is now under the microscope for match-fixing, is from Senegal and the onus is now on Safa and Fifa to prove that the Ghanaian official, whose name is known to Sunday World, did meet or speak to N’Diaye in Senegal
prior to the match.
Safa officials have appended this new material in their appeal to Fifa regarding their controversial 1-0 loss to Ghana two weeks ago.
This has apparently given Fifa, the world football mother body, a major headache and they have had to dig deep into their investigation, while Ghana
also presented their case to Fifa via a scathing and insulting testimony.
“It is up to Fifa to investigate. They can verify and check whether the Ghanaian official did go to Senegal prior to the match. They can check his passport stamps, they can even check mobile phone records if he did get in touch with the referee in Senegal.
“We just want fairness because we believe our boys were cheated in Ghana. We want a replay in a neutral venue,” said Safa president Danny Jordaan.
A decision on whether the match will be replayed, or the case thrown out, was expected this past Tuesday.
However, this new piece of information threw a spanner in the works and has apparently strengthened Safa and Bafana Bafana’s case.
Bafana followers are on tenterhooks waiting for the outcome from Fifa as they have a strong feeling that their players were cheated by N’Diaye.
The Senegalese match official awarded Ghana a dodgy penalty after Daniel Amartey fell like a sack of potatoes when he was tapped on the shoulder by Bafana defender Rushine de Reuck in the penalty area.
The Ghanaians are also anxious about the outcome of Safa’s appeal.
The young Bafana team were inconsolable after they led Group G until the last match, winning four, drawing one and losing the last match to Ghana, and as a result were painfully dislodged from the top of the group via goal difference.
Safa are using a case study of 2017, whereby their match against Senegal was replayed after Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey was found guilty of match manipulation.
Bafana had defeated the Lions of Teranga 2-1 in Polokwane via a shady penalty decision. Fifa ordered the match to be replayed and Senegal won the repeat encounter to book their place in the 2018 Fifa World Cup held in Russia.
Safa are demanding that N’Diaye be banned for life, that Ghana be disqualified and victory be awarded to South Africa, and that they proceed to the next stage of the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers. In the worst case scenario, Safa wants the match to be replayed.
Fifa’s secretary-general of the disciplinary committee Pablo Prima had not responded to Sunday World’s e-mailed questions at the time of going to press.
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