SAFA Confused By FIFA’s Official Response

David Kappel
January 6, 2022

The South African Football Association have stated they are left somewhat confused after receiving FIFA’s official explanation as to why they dismissed their complaint over the Ghana vs Bafana Bafana match.

SAFA have finally received FIFA’s explanation letter this week on their ruling over the Ghana vs South Africa match and the match manipulation claims against Senegalese referee Maguette N’Diaye, TimesLIVE report.

On 3 December, the football mother body had already dismissed SAFA’s case, stating the “protest did not meet the requirements foreseen under art. 46 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code and art. 14 of the Regulations of the Preliminary Competition of the FIFA World Cup 2022”.

FIFA’s latest letter explains that SAFA failed lodge their protest in time and also failed to pay the necessary fee within 24 hours of the “protest”.

“The protest fee must be paid ‘when the protest is lodged’ (art. 46 (3) FDC), in other words ‘within 24 hours of the end of the match in question’ (art. 46 (1) FDC)’,” FIFA’s letter reads, as per TimesLIVE.

“Consistently with the above, the committee was satisfied Safa failed to pay the protest fee within the 24-hour time limit.

“As a matter of fact, such payment was made on November 19 only, in other words more than 96 hours after the end of the match, thus undoubtedly outside the deadlines foreseen under art. 46 FDC. 41.

“In view of the foregoing, the committee pointed out that, as the protest fee had not been paid in a timely manner, the third (cumulative) procedural requirement for a protest to be admissible was also not met.

“In conclusion, the committee affirmed that two out of the three conditions for a protest to be admissible from a procedural perspective had not been met.

“As such, the committee stressed it had no other option but to consider the protest to be inadmissible.”

However, SAFA CEO Tebogo Motlanthe has insisted that FIFA have handled SAFA’s “complaint” as an official “protest”, with the former not having a deadline to pay the fee.  

“I am a lawyer and you know in football you cannot protest a referee’s decisions,” Motlanthe said on Wednesday.

“We made a complaint in line with Article 105, and if you read their letter you will see from the beginning we were consistent. We were not protesting, we asked, ‘Investigate the game because we think the referee has determined the outcome of the game’.

“They [Fifa] recorded it as a protest. We don’t know why.”

At this stage it seems unlikely that SAFA will appeal the matter at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

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