JOHANNESBURG, September 12 – The South African Football Association (SAFA) will not be appealing against FIFA’s decision that Bafana Bafana must replay their World Cup qualifier against Senegal.
The world footballing mother body made the ruling last week, which was based on the fact that the referee who officiated South Africa’s 2-1 win over Senegal in November last year, Joseph Lamptey, has been handed a lifetime ban for match manipulation.
SAFA had been considering challenging the ruling, but have now stated that they will accept the replay.
“SAFA’s position is clear on the issue of match fixing and manipulation. We cannot benefit from such and take the points,” SAFA president Danny Jordaan said at a press conference on Tuesday.
“We agree with FIFA that the match should to be replayed. We don’t support match-fixing. We want that to be clear. This is a moral and ethical matter. We asked “If this match was manipulated, do you as SAFA want those points?”
The win against Senegal, which was previous Bafana head coach Shakes Mashaba’s last game in charge, had been South Africa’s only victory to date in Group D.
The readjusted table sees them with only one point from three matches. Group leaders Burkina Faso and Cape Verde each have six points, from four games.
Mathematically, Stuart Baxter’s side can still qualify for Russia 2018. But they would likely need to win all three of their remaining matches – at home with Burkina Faso and Senegal, and away to Senegal in Dakar, while also hoping other results go their way.
South Africa hosted the 2010 World Cup but have not qualified for the football showcase since 2002.
The SA Football Association on Tuesday confirmed they accepted the ruling of FIFA to replay their World Cup qualifier with Senegal.
South Africa beat Senegal 2-1 in the qualifier in Polokwane last year, which was officiated by referee Joseph Lamptey. FIFA, however, ordered a replay after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) imposed a life ban on Lamptey for match manipulation.
“Our position is clear on the issue of match fixing and manipulation. We cannot benefit from such and take the points,” said SAFA president Danny Jordaan at a press conference on Tuesday morning.