Safa officials to raise concerns with Fifa after replay bombshell

Dennis Mumble
Picture: RYAN WILKISKY/BACKPAGEPIX

Senior South African Football Association officials will travel to Switzerland in the coming days to voice their un- happiness with Fifa after the world governing body ordered Bafana Bafana to replay their 2018 World Cup qualifier against Senegal.

Bafana beat the Senegalese 2-1 in Polokwane in November, but the qualifier came under scrutiny after the West Africans reported referee Joseph Lamptey’s performance to Fifa.

Safa officials faced considerable criticism from the public after they announced on Tuesday that they would not challenge Fifa’s decision, even if Fifa had established no wrongdoing on the part of South Africa.

Safa chief executive Dennis Mumble said yesterday they were as unhappy as the nation’s soccer lovers and he would travel to the Fifa headquarters with Safa legal committee head Norman Arendse to communicate the countr y’s annoyance.

“The way it stands now‚ we will replay the game as instructed by Fifa‚” he said.

“We are not formally chal- lenging the decision [to re- play the match] but we are going to register our concerns.”

The controversial referee received a lifetime ban from Fifa for match manipulation but Mumble said they had since learnt that he is challenging the decision in the Swiss courts.

“Should the courts find that Fifa erred in this matter‚ then clearly we have to also go in and assert our rights because we will also be affected by it.

“As much as we agree that we have to stamp out corruption in football, and we took the moral high ground here and agreed to the replay because we do not want to be the recipients of a corrupt outcome‚ it doesn’t mean that we should not raise these matters,” Mumble said.

“These are very serious matters for the conduct of the game in this country.”

Mumble said there were several other issues that did not sit well with them.

Safa was never asked to present its side of the story and was given very little information until Fifa dropped its bombshell last week.

Also, there was a suspicion Senegal did not meet the requirement to register a protest within two hours after the completion of a match.

Mumble said although they had agreed to a replay, they could still go the legal route and challenge the decision.

“We are leaving the door open . . . We still believe it was the right decision to support the replay but … we must still raise our concerns.

“If there is a legal way for us to do that‚ clearly we are not going to sit back and fold our arms.” – TimesLIVE

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