Why Safa’s protest was dismissed – Fifa’s full report

Johannesburg – The little chance of Bafana Bafana sneaking to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar was thrown out of the window after FIFA explained their reasons on Monday to find SAFA’s protest inadmissible.

Bafana was knocked out of the qualifiers in a controversial fashion after Ghana was awarded a dubious penalty at the Cape Coast Stadium.

Ghana won the match 1-0 and proceeded to the last stage of the qualifiers. The match was played on 14 November.

The South African Football Association then lodged a protest and complained about the conduct of Senegalese referee Ndiaye Marguette, whom they accused of having manipulated the result of the match.

On 3 December, FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee dismissed SAFA’s case and ruled that their case was inadmissible, without providing details and an explanation.

Read the latest development: SAFA blasts FIFA over Ghana report

On Monday night, the Chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee (the Committee) wrote to SAFA and said that they have thoroughly considered all evidence and arguments submitted and FIFA has provided the clarity that SAFA failed to meet three procedural requirements in their protest.

According to the letter which Sunday World has seen, associations and their clubs are entitled to lodge protests:

  1. Protests must reach the Disciplinary Committee in writing, indicating the relevant grounds, within 24 hours of the end of the match in question.

  2. The 24-hour time limit cannot be extended. For the sake of the smooth running of the competition, the corresponding competition regulations may shorten the protest deadline accordingly.

  3. The protest fee is CHF 1,000 (R17 000). It must be paid when the protest is lodged and is reimbursed only if the protest is admitted in full.

“The Ghana Football GFA argued that (i) no written protest was submitted to the match commissioner, (ii) the Protest was not lodged in a timely manner and (iii) no protest fee had been paid.

This punched holes in SAFA’s case.

Fifa’s letter to Safa: “The Disciplinary Committee acknowledged that when lodging the Protest before the Disciplinary Committee, the SAFA indicated that it would “pay the protest fee (…) within 72 Hours”.

Turning its attention to the proof of payment provided by the SAFA, the Committee noticed that the protest fee appeared to have been paid on 19 November 2021.

The protest fee must be paid “when the protest is lodged” (art. 46 (3) FDC), i.e. “within 24 hours of the end of the match in question” (art. 46 (1) FDC).

In particular, the Committee emphasized that such time limit cannot be extended (art. 46 (2) FDC). 40.

Consistently with the above, the Committee was satisfied that the SAFA failed to pay the protest fee within the 24-hour time limit.

As a matter of fact, such payment was made on 19 November only, i.e. more than 96 hours after the end of the match, thus undoubtedly outside the deadlines foreseen under art. 46 FDC. 41.

In view of the foregoing, the Committee pointed out that, as the protest fee had not been paid in a timely manner, the third (cumulative) procedural requirement for a protest to be admissible was also not met. 42.

In conclusion, the Committee affirmed that two out of the three conditions for a protest to be admissible from a procedural perspective had not been met.

As such, the Committee stressed that it had no other option but to consider the Protest to be inadmissible. 43.

As a result, the Committee concluded that (i) the protest lodged by the SAFA shall be disregarded, and (ii) further considerations as to the merits of the case would not be required.”

Motlanthe said that they are weighing their options whether they want to pursue the matter further: “It was a complaint and not a protest and that’s why we took the matter to the DC. You cannot protest over a referee’s decision.

It was a complaint that we believe the referee manipulated the outcome of the game – we will let the public know of our final decision,” he said.

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