Football world governing body Fifa is reviewing South Africa’s appeal to replay the World Cup round-robin qualifier between Bafana Bafana and Ghana, which they lost 1-0 on Sunday in West Africa in a controversial manner, according to international media.
Both the Athletic and Ghana Soccernet said on Tuesday that Fifa acknowledged a written complaint from South Africa about the refereeing in Sunday’s decisive match in Cape Coast in Ghana and is looking into the matter.
Ghana reached the African World Cup play-offs courtesy of their win through a controversial penalty award.
Ghana’s Daniel Amartey went down in the Bafana Bafana box after what appeared to be minimal contact from defender Rushine de Reuck.
Referee Maguette Ndiaye of Senegal awarded a penalty and Andre Ayew scored to send Ghana through.
South Africa needed a draw to reach the third round of qualification for the 2022 World Cup, but the penalty killed their hopes.
The Black Stars’ narrow win allowed them to edge South Africa on the “goals scored” count after both teams finished on the same points tally from six games.
Bafana hope for a replay, which would be another chance for them to advance from the group stage.
But while the South Africans feel aggrieved, some Ghanaians claim there was enough contact by De Reuck on Amartey for the penalty to be awarded.
After the game, SA Football Association chief executive Tebogo Mothlante said: “The match officials have decided the game, which is not what is supposed to happen. We will be writing to both CAF and Fifa, firstly to investigate how the game was handled and secondly to challenge some of these decisions.
“We have already registered with the match commissioner that we will be making a formal complaint.
“We are very disheartened by their actions and we can’t let it destroy the players — when we have the chance to challenge, we will challenge.
“We feel very much robbed because it is not an isolated incident of a penalty.
“There are just a lot of questionable decisions by match officials and we will get an expert to dissect other incidents, so we can make a strong case.”
Fifa’s response was recorded by the foreign publications on Tuesday as being: “Fifa has received a complaint from the South African FA in relation to this matter and will review it.
“Please understand we cannot comment further at this stage.”
Though Bafana did not give a convincing performance in the game, they complained afterwards that they had been robbed. Subsequently, Safa raised concerns over the legitimacy of the decision and the conduct of the officiating team from Senegal, headed up by referee Ndiaye. They will now wait for Fifa to decide on the merits of the case.