November 18 – FIFA has issued a deadline of November 20 to Ghana to respond to the match-fixing allegations made by the South African Football Association (SAFA) following their controversial elimination from the 2022 World Cup qualifying competition.
However the Ghana FA has responded saying it is “shocking, irresponsible, and outright disrespect to note that our colleagues from South Africa Football Association have chosen to spread falsehoods to the media rather than project the real picture of events before, during, and after the game”.
Incensed SAFA officials suspect match manipulation after Bafana Bafana crashed out of the race to reach Qatar with a 1-0 defeat in Cape Town on Sunday night.
Besides awarding a harsh penalty that ultimate won the match for Ghana, Senegalese referee Maguette Ndiaye and his fellow officials made several other questionable calls.
“FIFA has responded and things are going forward,” said SAFA CEO Tebogo Motlanthe. “FIFA are saying any further submissions on the matter from both SAFA and Ghana must be made before November 20.
“And then on November 23 FIFA will convene a meeting of the disciplinary committee where they will consider the matter, and then finalise it. A decision will be made whether to take action against Ndiaye and his colleagues, and also whether the game will be replayed.”
Former FIFA referee Ace Ncobo has apparently compiled an independent report on the match officials’ conduct. South African media say his report proves a definite pattern of bias with 90% of incorrect decisions going against South Africa. He is said to have “looked at the match second by second and logged all the incidents that required the intervention of the referee”.
In confirming the deadline, FIFA’s head of judicial bodies (adjudicatory) Julien Deux wrote: “The Ghana Football Association has the opportunity to provide the secretariat of the FIFA disciplinary committee with any comments it deems appropriate on the aforementioned protest, if any, by 20 November 2021 at the latest, along with any document deemed necessary. Finally, for the sake of clarity, please be informed that the disciplinary committee will decide on the protest using the file in its possession.”
While not expressly responding to SAFA’s detailed report that was thoroughly dissected at Wednesday’s press conference at SAFA House in Nasrec, the GFA said SAFA was well within its rights to instigate an investigation, the organisation said SAFA’s has been acting irresponsibly.
The GFA statement said: “Even though we believe that it is within SAFA’s right to call for an 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,.
“We wish to state categorically that the allegations are frivolous, baseless, and lacks merits and should be treated with all the contempt that it deserves.
“These allegations from South Africa Football Association are nothing but a planned scheme and a calculated attempt to shift focus from the defeat, divert attention from their failure to qualify for the play-offs, and unjustly dent the hard-earned victory of the Black Stars.”
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