FIFA reject South Africa appeal

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Sun, 05/12/2021
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IANS

FIFA have rejected an appeal from South Africa over the controversial defeat to Ghana in a World Cup qualifier.

They had argued they were robbed after a series of contentious decisions made by the Senegalese referee, the most egregious being the award of a first-half penalty that ultimately decided the tie.

South Africa began the match in Accra needing just a point to progress to the third round of African qualifying. But, in the event, it was the Ghanaians who progressed.

In support of their submission, South Africa produced a report in which a retired professional referee assessed the game and identified more than 40 decisions he believed were wrong.

Danny Jordaan, head of the South Africa Football Association, later claimed that there were suspicious betting patterns detected before and during the match, claiming match fixing, corruption, and bribery.

However, the appeal has been turned down by a FIFA disciplinary panel on the grounds that it failed to meet certain thresholds to be admissible.

The panel also heard an appeal from Benin, who were unhappy with their defeat to DR Congo in another World Cup qualifier. They needed a win to progress to the next stage but, DR Congo advanced at their expense, claiming a 2-0 win.

Benin’s appeal was based on the fact that the Congolese made four substitutions during the match across four windows. Current FIFA regulations stipulate that teams can make up to five substitutions during a match, but these can only be made in a maximum of three windows.

That appeal, too, was rejected for the same reason.

Both decisions are subject to appeal, and there is still a chance that they could be overturned,

However, as things stand now, both Ghana and DR Congo will be included in January’s draw where the ties for the third and final round will be decided. They will join Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia in the hat, with five teams going through to represent Africa in the Qatar World Cup next year.