Safa accepts Fifa’s order that Bafana replay disputed qualifier against Senegal
The South African Football Association (Safa) will not appeal against a Fifa decision that Bafana Bafana need to replay their 2-1 World Cup qualifying win against Senegal‚ Safa announced on Tuesday.
Safa president Danny Jordaan and legal committee head Norman Arendse said the decision not to appeal the annulment of the game‚ which was played in November 2016 in Polokwane‚ was taken at an emergency committee meeting on Wednesday.
They said the decision was taken on moral and ethical grounds, in that the association did not want to benefit from match manipulation‚ even if Fifa had established no wrongdoing on the part of SA.
Football’s world governing body, Fifa, has conveyed to Safa that the match manipulation was carried out on behalf of betting syndicates.
Jordaan and Arendse said there were legal grounds for an appeal‚ such as Safa never being cited to give its testimony‚ and the committee that made the ruling for a replay not having the jurisdiction to do so.
"We held a meeting yesterday of the emergency committee‚ because we felt this match impacts football and sets a precedent significant enough for us to convene‚" Jordaan said.
"We also asked advocate Norman Arendse to look at all legal provisions around this [and] moral and ethical issues that were raised. In that regard, the matter was simple — if this match was tampered with‚ do you, as Bafana and Safa, want those points? It was a moral and ethical question. Yesterday that matter was dealt with substantially.
"The outcome of the emergency meeting was quite clear: no‚ we do not want to be recipients if there is evidence that a match was manipulated. And therefore we agree with Fifa that the match must be replayed," Jordaan said.
Referee Joseph Odartei Lamptey‚ who handled the match in Polokwane‚ received a lifetime ban from Fifa for match manipulation.
The Ghanaian referee is appealing against that decision in court in Zurich. Arendse said Safa would monitor that appeal.
Arendse said a decision to annul a result for the reason of match manipulation by Fifa was unprecedented.
Safa CEO Dennis Mumble said the replayed home game would have to be played in November‚ before the away match in Senegal — scheduled currently for November 6.