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SAFA Give Update In Ghana-Bafana Gate

SAFA have given an update in the match-manipulation allegations around their crucial 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Ghana, saying they have reason to believe the match was manipulated.

SAFA CEO Tebogo Motlanthe had confirmed in the beginning of the week that they would lodge a complaint with FIFA and CAF after their 1-0 defeat to the Black Stars on Sunday.

Ghana had received a controversial penalty, which was converted by Andre Ayew and was the only goal of the match. 

But coach Hugo Broos also complained over Ghana’s aggressiveness throughout the match, which was allowed by Senegalese match officials led by referee Maguette Ndiaye.

However, in order to force a replay of the match – as happened in 2017 when Bafana’s game against Senegal had to be replayed – match-manipulation needs to be proven.

FIFA have confirmed they have received SAFA’s official complaint and are looking into the matter, with SAFA revealing more intel about their protest about the referee’s overall conduct as well as other questionable incidents such as a betting spike against South Africa just before the penalty was given.

“Immediately after the match, there was an outpouring of emotions in our country. I phoned the CEO who was with the match officials and I asked him to inform them that we are going to challenge the outcome of the match,” Dr. Danny Jordaan said on Wednesday.

“We are concerned with certain decisions in the match, so we are asking for an investigation into match-manipulation of the match.

“Of course we have to say what is match-manipulation? So we asked Mr Ace Ngcobo to analyse it and to see if there is a pattern that may have had an influence on the final outcome of the match. We’ve received a report and he must’ve watched for 10-11 hours.

“We are here to inform the nation about the events that happened at Cape Coast that shocked us. FIFA has the responsibility to uphold the integrity of global football.

“In February 2017, FIFA appointed a company called Sports Radar to monitor each and every match to monitor the integrity of the competition. Our responsibility of SAFA is to prove whether there is any bias against our team, and if so, report it to FIFA.

“Match-manipulation of a match is when there is unlawful influence or unlawful directive of the of match or unlawful influence on the outcome of the match.

“It can be manipulated for financial gain or for sporting gain. Was there a conspiracy to win the match or to favour one team in the match? Was there a deliberate action of the referee in the match? We asked Mr. Ace Ngcobo to see whether, in his view, there was a deliberate or wrong guiding of the match by the referee.

“Did the referee deliberately give a red card, give a yellow card, give a penalty, or anything that is not in line with the law of the game? It would be a deliberate neglecting of his duty to take action in the match. Did he deliberately not take decisions in the match, with the intention to influence the outcome of the match.

“Did the referee fail to award a free-kit, a yellow card, a red card, a penalty? Did he deliberately neglect the rules of the game? We asked Mr. Acew Ngcobo to confirm whether there was a bias against Bafana that influences the outcome.”

Jordaan then confirmed that SAFA received some information about irregularities in the betting market.

“Was there betting on the match? Yes, there was betting on the match. According to the bookmakers, there was a mistake in the favourite and it is a fact that there was betting on the match,” he said.

“What we want is for FIFA to analyse the influence on the match. Was there information on the penalty, then there was a betting spike on the decision that was going to happen.

“We don’t have the capacity to do that and we’ve asked FIFA to look into it.

“The last issue is, was the profile of the match such, that there was interest outside of football and yes, there was. If Ghana loses, there were major problems even for the president of the country.

“There was another message that said there would be penalties in the match, if not two but one. So we are asking FIFA again to look into these things and apply their mind, whether all these things were normal.

“It was a very important match, a decisive match. Anything but a win for Ghana would mean they are out. That’s why we asked FIFA to look into these things and analyse what really happened.

“We have to respect the laws of the game and protect the integrity of the game.”

Jordaan also explained that a similar incident happened in 2017 when Bafana’s match against Senegal had to be replayed.

“We said if the penalty was wrongly given, we said we would replay the match against Senegal,”

“This time the foot is on the foot, and we can only leave the matter in FIFA’s hands.”

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