The logo of Fifa is seen in front of its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland September 26, 2017. — Reuters pic
JOHANNESBURG, Nov 17 — South Africa today pushed its demand for a replay of a 2022 World Cup qualifier against Ghana, producing an analysis that it said showed blatant bias by the referees.
“Fifa has a responsibility to protect the integrity of all of its competitions,” South African Football Association president Danny Jordaan told a news conference.
South Africa lost a Group G decider 1-0 in Ghana, who converted a disputed penalty after Daniel Amartey appeared to dive.
The loss knocked South Africa out of the qualifying race for next year’s World Cup in Qatar.
Safa asked retired referee Ace Ncobo to review video recordings of the match. He said his analysis showed 90.9 per cent of incorrect decisions went against South Africa.
“We agree this is not about the penalty,” Ncobo said. “Let’s not speak about ‘Safa appeal penalty’. This submission is not about the penalty.”
“My independent conclusion is that the referee in this match was blatantly biased against South Africa,” he added.
Bafana Bafana’s head coach Hugo Broos said this case went beyond routine frustrations with referees in the heat of the moment during a match.
“Here, after the game, I was more convinced that the referee was against us,” he said.
TV replays showed Ghana defender Amartey apparently diving during the Group G decider on Sunday, leading to a penalty Andre Ayew converted for a 1-0 win and first place.
Ghana and South Africa finished level on points and goal difference and the Black Stars won the section because they scored seven goals, one more than Bafana Bafana (The Boys), over six matches.
In a 2018 World Cup qualifier, a wrongly awarded penalty helped South Africa defeat Senegal, who successfully appealed to Fifa for a replay, and won it to help reach the finals in Russia.
The VAR (video assistant referee) system is not being used for African World Cup qualifiers, but will be utilised for all 52 matches at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon from January 9. — AFP