Ghana vs South Africa match-fixing scandal: FIFA might order for a replay

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The Ghana vs South Africa FIFA World Cup qualification match might be replayed if the world football governing body finds out that there were irregularities in the game.

Recall that South Africa visited the Cape Coast Sports Stadium in Ghana on November 14, 2021, to play their last Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers against their major Group G rival.

Just like Ghana, South Africa needed a win to top Group G and qualify for the playoffs. Unfortunately for Bafana Bafana, the Black Stars of Ghana were awarded a penalty in the 33rd minute of the game which Andre Ayew converted.

Ghana vs South Africa match-fixing scandal: FIFA might order for a replay
Ghana’s Leicester City midfielder Daniel Amartey fell to the ground in the penalty area under the slightest of contact from South Africa defender Rushine de Reuck in the 32nd minute of the game which was enough for the referee to award a penalty.

The Ghana vs South Africa match continued and ended 1-0 in favor of Ghana. The 1-0 win helped Ghana to finish top of Group G with 13 points in 6 games. While South Africa finished second with the same points and goals difference as Ghana. But the Black Stars edged them out due to a better head-to-head.

This means that the hope of South Africa playing in Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup is over almost the same way their quest to qualify for Russia 2018 ended.

Recall that in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, South Africa had to replay their match against Senegal after a FIFA review confirmed that referee Joseph Lamptey awarded a penalty for a non-existent handball.

South Africa replayed the game but lost and subsequently missed out on Russia 2018. While referee Joseph Lamptey was banned.

In the case of the Ghana vs South Africa World Cup qualifier, South Africa Football Association (SAFA) has written to FIFA to agitate against the decisions of Senegalese referee Maguette Ndiaye during the game.

SAFA accused the referee and his assistants Elhadji Malick, Camara Djibril, and Gueye Daouda (fourth referee) of match-fixing.

SAFA president Danny Jordaan confirmed that the outcome of the Ghana vs South Africa game has been reported to FIFA, adding that a referee from a West Africa country should not have officiated a match involving a West Africa country.

Jordaan also revealed that SAFA has urged the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) to introduce Video Assistant Referee to CAF games to checkmate wrong calls from match referees.

“We are very angry, we are very upset. We will fight this matter until the end. That’s why immediately after the match we informed the match commissioners that we are challenging this outcome”, Jordaan said via SAFMSportOn.

“We feel that this match was manipulated which carries a sanction of five years. What we have done today is that we’ve made a detailed analysis of the match. We have found that 89 percent of the wrong decisions were made against Bafana Bafana. It can’t be right.

“This is not the first controversy with this referee. The same ref was attacked in Tunisia because of a similar situation. We are also saying when a match involves a team from West Africa, you can’t have a referee from the same region.

“We also raised the issue of VAR. Caf must now introduce VAR. We knew this is the last match of the group stage qualifying and many incidents have happened previously.”

In reaction to the agitation against the outcome of the Ghana vs South Africa game, FIFA has confirmed that it has received a complaint from SAFA challenging the outcome of the match.

“FIFA has received a complaint from the South African FA about this matter and will review it. Please understand we cannot comment further at this stage.” Fifa said in a statement to The Athletic.

As it stands, the Ghana vs South Africa game might be replayed and referee Maguette Ndiaye might be banned if FIFA confirmed irregularity in the game. But if FIFA approves the outcome of the game, Ghana would head to the playoffs while South Africa would have to start preparing for 2026 qualifiers.

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