South Africa have filed a complaint to FIFA over perceived “questionable decisions” in Sunday’s 1-0 loss to Ghana which knocked them out the World Cup and have called for the game to be replayed.
Bafana Bafana required a point from the game in Cape Coast to reach the final round of African qualifying for Qatar 2022, but fell to a 33rd-minute Andre Ayew penalty.
Ghana thus advanced to the next stage at South Africa’s expense by finishing above their opponents in Group G on goals scored, with the teams level on both points and goal difference.
However, South Africa Football Association (SAFA) chief executive Tebogo Motlanthe felt a number of calls – including the penalty incident – went against his side.
“The match officials have decided the game, which is not what is supposed to happen,” Motlanthe said in a statement on Monday.
“We will be writing to both CAF (African football governing body) and FIFA – firstly to investigate how the game was handled and secondly to challenge some of these decisions.
“We have already registered with the match commissioner that we will be making a formal complaint.”
Ghana’s decisive penalty was awarded by referee Maguette Ndiaye for Rushine de Reuck’s seemingly innocuous challenge on Daniel Amartey.
“We are very disheartened by their actions and we can’t let it destroy the players – when we have the chance to challenge, we will challenge,” Motlanthe said.
“We feel very much robbed because it is not an isolated incident of a penalty.
“There are just a lot of questionable decisions by match officials and we will get an expert to dissect other incidents, so we can make a strong case.”
South Africa are no strangers to having to replay a game, with their 2-1 win over Senegal in 2018 World Cup qualifying being wiped out after a referee was found guilty of manipulating the match.
Motlanthe added: “Of course we are looking at the precedent whereby FIFA ordered us to replay Senegal and we think that if justice needs to be served the same decision should be taken against this Ghana game.”
However, Ghana match-winner Ayew does not believe South Africa have a case, arguing his side were themselves hard done by.
“It was a clear penalty on [Amartey]. In fact, we had chances to get more penalties and should have been given two more,” he told reporters after the match.
DR Congo, Egypt, Mali, Morocco and Senegal are also through to round three of qualifying, with four more teams left to join them.