South Africa
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Fifa give a firm ‘no’ to Safa, as refereeing World Cup protest is dismissed

Bafana Bafana’s chances of going to the Fifa World Cup in Qatar through the back door are all-but over after world footballing body Fifa yesterday threw out their protest against the match officials in the November 14 Fifa World Cup qualifying defeat to Ghana at the Cape Coast Stadium.

The South African Football Association, who lodged the protest, can still appeal Fifa’s decision, but it remains to be seen if they do, with their initial protest declared “inadmissable” by Fifa.

“The protest lodged by South Africa has been declared inadmissible by the Disciplinary Committee as it 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,” said Fifa in a statement.

“The decision is subject to appeal.”

Safa responded with a short statement in which CEO Tebogo Motlanthe said: “We have received the decision without details and we will request FIFA for the reasons and consider our options.”

Article 46 of Fifa’s Disciplinary Code deals with protests and says any protest must reach the disciplinary committee within 24 hours of the end of the match in question.

The Ghana FA, in a strongly-worded response to Safa’s protest, sent to Fifa, argued that this was not done.

The GFA referred to article 14 of the 2022 Fifa World Cup preliminary round regulations, which goes into more detail on the matter.

“Unless otherwise stipulated in this article, protests shall be submitted in writing to the FIFA Match Commissioner within two hours of the match in question and followed up with a full written report, including a copy of the original protest, to be sent by email to the FIFA general secretariat within 24 hours of the end of the match, otherwise they shall be disregarded,” reads article 14.2.

Safa’s complaint was backed up by a report compiled by former referee Ace Ncobo, which claimed that 30 of the 33 incorrect decisions made by Senegalese referee Maguette Ndiaye. Safa claimed this showed a clear pattern of bias and wanted the game replayed.

They also wanted Fifa to investigate any possible match manipulation. Motlanthe previously said Safa’s case was based on article 18 of Fifa’s Disciplinary Code, which deals with “Manipulation of football matches and competitions”.

It remains to be seen if Safa choose to use these grounds to appeal, but it does not seem likely they will succeed, or have the time, to with the final World Cup play-offs fast approaching.