Fixing the fix? SA support Burkina Faso appeal to CAS over Senegal replay

October 19 – Despite insisting it would abide by FIFA’s decision, South Africa has submitted documentation to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) supporting Burkino Faso’s appeal challenging FIFA’s decision to replay the South Africa-Senegal World Cup qualifier.

After initially expressing serious reservations about FIFA’s order to replay last November’s game because of “match manipulation” by the referee, South African football chiefs decided not to appeal, agreeing to the replay “on ethical and moral grounds”.

The official in question, Joseph Lamptey (pictured), has been banned for life but Burkino Faso, desperate to qualify for Russia, say FIFA’s ruling adversely affects them since Senegal, who lost the original game against the South Africans 2-1, are suddenly back in contention, potentially at Burkino Faso’s expense.

It now appears the South African FA (SAFA) are supporting Burkino Faso’s protest. According to SAFA CEO Dennis Mumble, CAS set a deadline of Monday for all documents to be submitted with a decision needing to be made before the proposed replay on November 10 in Polokwane. As a result, South Africa have now written to CAS, reportedly concerning whether a referee’s decision is final.

“While we accept that the match was manipulated and we don’t want to be seen as beneficiaries of a manipulated outcome, how do you stop the floodgates from opening now?,” Mumble was quoted as saying.

“This is a fundamental principle that we have all grown up with in football … we are not fighting directly with FIFA, we are preparing as if we will play the match over again, but what is the issue is whether the principle of the thing we were always operating on no longer applies.”

“Maybe this will lead to a new regulation that says a referee’s decision is final unless it is proven beyond doubt that a match has been manipulated.”

As it stands, Senegal need just one more win from their final two qualifiers – both against South Africa – while Bafana would have to beat Senegal home-and-away to qualify. Burkina Faso would need to beat Cape Verde in their final qualifier in Ouagadougou and hope that other results go their way.

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