South Africa demand replay v Ghana as controversial penalty ends World Cup dream

'Robbed' South Africa to seek replay v Ghana after controversial penalty ends World Cup bid

Ghana advanced to the African World Cup play-offs by the barest of margins on Sunday after they secured a 1-0 victory over South Africa, thanks to a hotly-disputed penalty.

The win saw Ghana pip South Africa to top spot in their qualifying group on goals scored, dashing Bafana Bafana’s hopes of making next year’s showpiece event in Qatar.

The match-defining moment took place in the 32nd minute when Ghana’s Leicester City midfielder Daniel Amartey fell to the ground in the penalty area under the slightest of contact from South Africa defender Rushine de Reuck.

Amartey’s exaggerated tumble to the deck, however, was enough to convince referee Maguette Ndiaye to point to the spot. Andre Ayew tucked the resulting penalty kick to ultimately dump South Africa out of World Cup contention. 

The final whistle in the Group G fixture, though, may not be the end of the matter. 

Incensed by the performance of referee Ndiaye and his team of officials during the match, chief executive of the South Africa Football Association, Tebogo Mothlante, has revealed that he will be lodging an official appeal over the result – in the hope of getting the game replayed. 



The match officials have decided the game, which is not what is supposed to happen,” Mothlante began, per BBC Sport.

“We will be writing to both CAF [the Confederation of African Football] and FIFA – firstly to investigate how the game was handled and secondly to challenge some of these decisions.

“We have already registered with the match commissioner that we will be making a formal complaint.”

You can check out the incident which led to Ghana’s penalty below:

Watch: The controversial penalty award that saw South Africa eliminated from World Cup qualifying by Ghana

As highly debatable as Ghana’s spot-kick was, Mothlante insists that his side feels “robbed” due to more than just that one decision. 

“We are very disheartened by their actions and we can’t let it destroy the players – when we have the chance to challenge, we will challenge,” he added.

“We feel very much robbed because it is not an isolated incident of a penalty. There are just a lot of questionable decisions by match officials and we will get an expert to dissect other incidents, so we can make a strong case.”

FIFA have ordered qualifiers to be replayed in the past

Typically, such post-match protests rarely succeed. However, there is precedent where similar games have been replayed.

Back in 2018, South Africa themselves were forced to replay a World Cup qualifier against Senegal after the original match official was found guilty of attempting to fix the outcome of the match for betting purposes

One of the key pieces of evidence that led to the match being re-staged was the award of a penalty to South Africa in the initial encounter.

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Senegal’s Kalidou Koulibaly was deemed to have handled the ball in the area, despite replays clearly confirming it had hit his knee.

Whether the award of a ‘soft’ penalty to Ghana is enough to see South Africa granted another crack at World Cup qualification remains to be seen. 

It’s a long shot but, given the stakes, you can see why Bafana Bafana are so keen for an official review to take place. 

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