Jonty Mark
Football Editor
3 minute read
18 Nov 2021
11:23 am

Bafana’s De Reuck – We were robbed

Jonty Mark

'As a player I feel we deserve a second chance,' said the South African central defender.

Rushine De Reuck wants another chance to take on Ghana. Picture: Thabang Lepule/Backpagepix.

Bafana Bafana defender Rushine De Reuck says he feels “robbed” after the Fifa World Cup qualifying defeat to Ghana on Sunday, and feels the just route would be for Fifa to order a replay of the match.

ALSO READ: Ncobo says evidence shows referees ‘unlawfully manipulated’ Bafana qualifier

The South African Football Association have complained to the Confederation of African Football and Fifa about the conduct of referee Maguette Ndiaye and his assistants, with former referee Ace Ncobo compiling a report that he says shows a clear pattern of bias from the match officials in the vital Group G qualifier.

Ghana won 1-0 at the Cape Coast Stadium, to progress to the final round of qualifying for Qatar 2022 at Bafana’s expense. De Reuck was at the heart of the decision from Ndiaye that led to the goal, with Daniel Amartey collapsing to the ground under minimal contact from the Bafana defender.

Ndiaye pointed to the spot and Andre Ayew converted, to ultimately break Bafana hearts.

Safa have been keen to stress that their complaint lies not just over the penalty, but in the general performance of the match officials, with Ncobo claiming that over 90 percent of incorrect decisions went against Bafana.

“It has been a very tough few days, not only for myself, for everyone … to go out in the way we did is painful … we felt the opportunity was taken away from us because of decisions in the match,” said De Reuck.

“From the first ten minutes of the game we were sure we were not going to get anything (from the referees) but we managed to keep our cool and continued to fight. I felt we didn’t have a fair chance and were robbed. As a player I feel we deserve a second chance.”

Ronwen Williams, meanwhile, questioned the behaviour of Ndiaye from before the kick off.

“The referee came to me before the match and said he would book me for time-wasting,”: said the Bafana captain.

“(Also) usually in the qualifiers the balls (on the touchline), have been on cones (to speed up play), but this time the ball-boys had the balls in their hands. In the beginning, whenever the ball went out, they would throw it back quickly, but from the moment they scored, the ball boys disappeared and it took long to get balls back.

“I wanted to speak to the referee, and also to tell him the balls were soft, but he didn’t want to hear and said he would rather book me for time-wasting. In the second half, the ball-boys vanished. The referee should have stamped his authority. From the moment they (Ghana) scored (in the 32nd minute), their goalkeeper took so much time, and not once did the referee speak to him. He was only booked in the last few minutes.”

“I asked him what the problem was with the team (us), Ghana were playing physically and not challenging for the ball. He said it is a contact sport. I said yes, but the rules must go for both teams. He told me to go away or he will book me.”