SAFA President on Ghana v South Africa qualifier protest

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First of all, let me congratulate Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies on becoming the first South African Women’s club to reach the final of the CAF Champions League.

If they win, they will join only few clubs in the world to win both the Men and Women Champions League. They will join Spanish giants Barcelona who were the first European club to win both Men and Women Champions League trophies.

Secondly, on Bafana Bafana, we want to welcome the coach and players of the team that brought hope to football and the entire Nation. The coach had the courage to place a team on the field with the highest number of first caps against Uganda and placed it in the care of assistant coach Helman Mkhalele as coach. It was the beginning of a new direction, new energy, new ambition and a team with courage determination and with fierce competitive spirit.

On Sunday, immediately upon completion of the match at the Cape Coast Stadium in Ghana between hosts Ghana and Bafana Bafana, I called the CEO who was in the company of the Head of Delegation, Mr Aubrey Baartman. I instructed him to ask the head of delegation to approach the match officials to register our complaint on various matters relating to the match. 

We then decided to place this matter of possible match manipulation before FIFA for further investigation. We decided to approach an expert outside of SAFA to make an independent analysis of the match on incident by incident basis to determine whether a proven pattern of bias could be established against Bafana Bafana (South Africa). 

We requested an analysis of a percentage of incorrect decisions against Bafana Bafana (South Africa). These decisions will show a detrimental impact on the direction and the final result of the match. We have now received the final report and I want to thanks Mr Ace Ncobo for his immediate positive response. 

Therefore, we are here today to inform the nation the events that unfolded in the Cape Coast Stadium that shocked and saddened us. FIFA has the responsibility to protect the integrity of the sport in terms of its statutes. 

In February 2017, FIFA decided to strengthen the integrity of global football by entering into an agreement with SPORTRADAR to monitor all FIFA competitions including the FIFA World Cup qualifying matches. FIFA also established the integrity department to protect the integrity of its competitions.

The monitoring of matches is part of the preventative strategy and National Associations like SAFA, has the responsibility to recognise, resist and report any possible match manipulation in competitions involving its National Teams.

WHAT IS MATCH MANIPULATION AND WHAT ARE WE PLACING BEFORE FIFA? 

Manipulation of a match is when there is the unlawful influencing or unlawful altering of the direction, or course, of a match or the result of the match or any aspect of the football match.

REASONS FOR MATCH MANIPULATION:

  1. Financial – The match can be manipulated for financial gain.
  2. To seek Football advantages because the member wants to advance in a competition.
  3. Or there is an agreement or conspiracy to win a match or phases of the match through deliberate actions.

WHAT IS DELIBERATE ACTION?

  1. Deliberate action means that the miss or wrong application of the laws of the game by the referees. We want to demonstrate this point by analysing the referee’s decision. In other words, did the referees deliberately and wrongfully award red, yellow cards or penalties or by any other decision?
  2. Deliberately neglecting to take action during the match, did the referee deliberately neglect to take a decision even though the referee is required to do so under the laws of the game. Did the referee neglect to award a red, yellow card, penalties or punish violations that had an influence on the result of the match.

WAS THERE BETTING ON THE MATCH? YES:

Reports in the media covers, predictions, odds, historical information on the teams Ghana and South Africa. FIFA has monitoring capability and reporting capacity on these activities. 

WHAT WAS THE PROFILE AND INTEREST IN THE MATCH?

  1. The profile of the match was high because South Africa was on top of the group
  2. Ghana was in a must win situation and faced the prospect of failing to qualify for a second consecutive time.
  3. Articles in the Ghanian newspapers report that should Ghana fail to qualify the Head of State should step down.
  4. Twitter views expressed the view that this was a-must win at all costs situation

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