Ghana Football Association calls on Bafana, Safa to accept defeat

South Africa filed a protest to Fifa on 15 November after Bafana Bafana were eliminated from qualifying after being beaten 1-0 by the Black Stars following a controversial penalty was awarded and scored by the Black Stars.

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 Ghana Football Association (GFA) has released a statement on Thursday in response to the allegations made by the South African Football Association (Safa) over the performance of the referee in their 2022 Fifa World cup Qualifier.

South Africa filed a protest to Fifa on 15 November after Bafana Bafana were eliminated from qualifying after being beaten 1-0 by the Black Stars following a controversial penalty was awarded and scored by the Black Stars.

In the statement the GFA refutes any wrongdoing and raises its own concerns over SAFA’s behaviour and their own knowledge over how the competition is run.

“It is shocking, irresponsible, and outright disrespect to note that our colleagues from South Africa Football Association (with whom we have good relationships with and mutual sporting respect) have chosen to spread falsehoods to the media rather than project the real picture of events before, during and after the game.”

The statement went on to state what it called ‘the truth’: “Even though we believe that it is within the South African Football Association’s right to call for investigation, if they feel that certain factors contributed to their loss, we wish to state that the way and manner lies, and allegations have been thrown into the public space has been very irresponsible leading to injury and violence.”

GFA said Safa had ‘a planned scheme and a calculated attempt to shift focus from the defeat’.

“The Ghana Football Association call on the South African Football Association to responsibly accept defeat and show respect to the Black Star’s achievement on the field, for this is not the first time Ghana has defeated South Africa and this will not be the last time. In fact, every South African knows the pedigree of the Black Stars in football, a reason the team has a lot of following in South Africa. The GFA will continue to project the positive image of football and protect the integrity of the game across the globe."

The Fifa disciplinary Committee will meet on 23 November to discuss the matter further.

“As a good sporting Association, we know that Bafana Bafana gave it their all but lost to a better team (and must be forthright to tell the South African public this). We wish Bafana Bafana and our colleagues at SAFA better luck next time,” the GFA statement concluded.

At a media briefing on Wednesday, retired referee Ace Ngcobo - who is working with Safa on their appeal - explained what they've found.

“What we are focusing on is manipulation of the course of the match, which impacts on the result of the match, either by an act or omission and that is what we have been able to prove and that should suffice for Fifa to make a finding on this matter without requiring any additional material.”