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Yanga Lodge Official Match-Fixing Protest

Young Africans have lodged an official “match-fixing” protest over the contentious Video Assistant Referee decision against them in their CAF Champions League quarter-final against Mamelodi Sundowns.

Yanga thought they had opened the scoring against the hosts in the 59th minute when Stephane Aziz Ki shot against the crossbar, with the ball bouncing down in what looked like a close call, but the match official decided against awarding them the goal and was later backed by VAR.

Sundowns went on to win the game on penalties after it remained goalless after 180 minutes of play, winning the shootout 3-2.

However, the decision by the officials was already heavily criticised by Yanga coach Miguel Gamondi, and the Tanzanian giants have now lodged an official protest.

“We, the undersigned, representing Young Africans Sports Club hereby submit this contest in accordance with Rule XVI of the CAF Champions League Regulations as amended from time to time. 

“The contest pertains to a possible administrative error and match-fixing incident during the quarter-final match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Young Africans Sports Club played on 05th April 2024 at Tshwane-Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa , as per the following details: 

1. Incident Description: 

During the match, in the 57th minute, Young Africans Sports Club Player Aziz Ki Stephane (jersey no. 10) scored a clear goal which was denied by the entire team of referees led by Mr. Dahane Beida from Mauritania. Despite the availability of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology, Mr. Beida and his team, including Mr. Daniel Ayi (Video Assistant Referee from Ghana) and Mr. Jerson Dos Santos (Assistant VAR from Angola), intentionally neglected to review the goal incident through VAR, thereby disregarding the principles of fair play and justice in football. 

2. Allegations: 

We allege that the aforementioned actions by the referee team indicate a deliberate attempt to influence the outcome of the match in favor of Mamelodi Sundowns, constituting a serious case of match-fixing. This is further supported by the selective use of VAR, primarily focusing on fouls committed by Young Africans Sports Club for  potential red cards, while ignoring a legitimate goal-scoring opportunity. 

Remedial Actions Sought: 

It is concerning that despite substantial investments in VAR technology, its role in ensuring fairness and accuracy in critical match decisions was not upheld. This incident raises questions about the integrity of refereeing standards and the effectiveness of VAR in upholding fair play principles in football competitions. We request a thorough investigation into this matter by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to uncover any evidence of administrative error or match-fixing. Such actions are detrimental to the spirit of the game and must be addressed promptly to maintain the credibility of football competitions under CAF. 

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“In light of the above, we urge CAF to take appropriate remedial actions, which may include but are not limited to Conducting a detailed review of the match footage and VAR records, Holding accountable any individuals found responsible for misconduct or negligence, Implementing measures to prevent similar incidents in future matches, as well as any other relief you may consider fair and appropriate to grant under Rule XVI (3) of CAF Champions League Regulations, as amended from time to time. 

We remain committed to upholding the principles of fair play, transparency, and integrity in football, and trust that CAF will take decisive steps to address this matter and uphold the values of the sport.

Despite Yanga’s protest former FIFA Referee and Video Assistant Referee (VAR) instructor Jerome Damon has insisted it was “impossible VAR to say goal or no goal“.

iDiski Times
iDiski Times
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