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Fifa needs to step in and fix this

Hugo Broos and Ethan Brooks during the SAFA Press Conference on the 17 November 2021 at SAFA House. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix

Bafana Bafana and the beautiful game deserve better.

AFTER the blame game, it’s the waiting game.

The South African Football Association (Safa) have put together a thorough complaint for Fifa to consider after their road to the World Cup was cut short by a dubious penalty for Ghana in Sunday’s final group-stage qualifying match.

And the world governing body will only pass it on to their experts on next week Tuesday, with no timeframe for a decision yet.

But Safa pulled out all the stops after a heartbreaking loss in Ghana.

ALSO READ: Danny Jordaan flags referee bias, possible betting spikes during Bafana-Ghana clash

On the face of it, they have a strong case – flagging irregular betting activity and a blow-by-blow analysis of Senegalese referee Maguette Ndiaye’s performance.

I have to tell you that during Sunday night’s match, I did feel that we weren’t going to get a result.

But since no full match report was published because Monday’s news had moved on Safa’s appeal, going through my match notes, I also noticed some incidents that made my bors warm.

The first WTF moment came in the 10th minute when Bafana’s Bongokuhle Hlongwane burst through on goal, but the whistle went before he could pull the trigger for an apparent foul on the defender.

It didn’t look like it to me.

In the following 20 minutes, the pace of the game was high and Bafana couldn’t find their passing rhythm as Ghana got in their faces with some unpunished rough tackles.

Then came the defining moment of the match.

I am yet to find an angle where Rushine de Reuck has made enough contact on Daniel Amartey to warrant a penalty and yellow card.

The replay shows Amartey holding the Bafana defender ahead of him.

And then as he backs into De Reuck behind him, the Mamelodi Sundowns man put both his hands on the Ghanaian’s left shoulder and as the ball comes of his body, Amartey throws himself down.

Reports in Ghana claim Amartey told his teammates he was pulled down by his arm.

His arm? De Reuck had his hands on the Ghanaian’s left shoulder.

Yes, there was contact, but no way is that a penalty.

Late in the game, Percy Tau was fouled in the Ghana box, but by then you could see there was no way in hell that Bafana were gonna get a decision.

Not after the ref had blown up Tau for taking a second-half throw-in “from the wrong spot”, before giving the Ghanaian the ball and watching him sprint five metres up the sideline before his throw.

I didn’t do as thorough an analysis as former SA ref Ace Ncobo, but Maguette Ndiaye’s performance stank to high heaven of a rat. Lots of rats.

Whether Fifa gets onside remains to be seen.

But either way, it was painful watching Bafana go out like that.

The game deserves more respect than that.

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