'We feel robbed': Safa to lodge formal complaint over ref in Bafana defeat

Bafana Bafana were defeated 1-0 in the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifier following a questionable penalty decision in the match.

FILE: Ghana's Andre Ayew (R) fights for the ball with South Africa's Teboho Mokoena (L) during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifying round Group G football match between South Africa and Ghana at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on 6 September 2021. Picture: PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Football Association (Safa) will be challenging the match decisions in Bafana Bafana’s 1-0 loss to Ghana in Sunday’s 2022 Fifa World Cup Qualifier.

Going into the final Group G encounter, the South Africans held a three-point lead over the Black Stars and were aware that they needed to avoid defeat to progress to the final round of qualification.

If Ghana won, both sides would sit on the same number of points as well as the same goal difference, however, the South African’s would be dumped out of the competition as they had scored an inferior amount of goals.

The game plan had been executed properly until just after the half-hour mark when in the 32nd minute, the Ghanaians were awarded a penalty.

It took place from a corner when Daniel Amartey went down in the penalty area from a pull. However, replays suggested that the player had dived – Andre Ayew stepped up and tucked away the resulting penalty.

Immediately after the match, Bafana coach Hugo Broos raised questions over the officiating throughout the game: “I’m not happy, really not happy with the way the referee today let Ghana play [in an] aggressive way,” Broos said.

The coach added the style of his opponents’ play was not the issue but that the same leniencies were not afforded to his side by the officials.

On Monday morning, Safa CEO Tebogo Motlanthe took a harder line than the Belgian manager, confirming that Safa would challenge the decisions taken in the match.

“Match officials have decided the game, which is not what’s supposed to happen. We, as the association, have decided that we will be writing to both CAF and Fifa. Firstly, to investigate how the game was handled and secondly to also challenge some of these decisions.”

Motlanthe continued: “We have already registered with the match commissioner that we will be writing a formal complaint”.

The CEO said: “We feel very much robbed because it is not an isolated incident of a penalty. There are a lot of decisions by match officials and of course, that’s why we will get an expert which will dissect what are the incidents so that we can make a strong case. We are looking at the precedence which Fifa set by ordering us to replay Senegal.”

In 2017, referee Joseph Lemptey was banned for life after being found guilty of breaching the rules relating to unlawfully influencing match results when he awarded a penalty for Bafana Bafana in a match against Senegal in their World Cup qualifier.