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OPINION: 3 Reasons why Bafana’s Ghana qualifier should be replayed

Bafana Bafana were knocked out of the World Cup qualifiers due to Ghana’s superior goals scored.

Bafana Bafana
Image copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Bafana Bafana were knocked out of the World Cup qualifiers due to Ghana’s superior goals scored. Both nations were tied on 13 points after six matches having lost one game apiece.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

South Africa travelled to face Ghana on Sunday night needing just a draw to progress to the next round while it was a must-win game for the Black Stars.

The West Africans managed to get maximum points via a controversial penalty, which caused a lot of debate on social media, with some fans even calling for a replay. Yes, a replay. When Bafana Bafana beat Senegal in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, the match had to be replayed after a complaint was lodged over the overall performance of Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey on the day.

This time, Senegalese referee Maguette Ndiaye was the man in the middle for Sunday’s decider and he stirred some controversy after awarding Ghana a dubious penalty. Below are three reasons why I feel this match should also be replayed.

Maguette N’diaye’s poor officiating 

As a South African, poor officiating is something I have seen often in the local league for the last few seasons and the federation has been suspending incompetent referees every campaign. What we saw in the Bafana Bafana game was next level, the referee was shambolic from start to finish. Before the dubious penalty, Ghana’s Jordan Ayew went one-on-one with Ronwen Williams where he hit the side net and the ref wrongfully awarded a corner when Williams was nowhere near getting a touch on the ball.

More soft set pieces went in favour of Ghana while Bafana were not getting anything from the match officials. Frustration crept in on our boys but they stood firm and looked equal to the task. The Black Stars weren’t getting any clear-cut chances until the ref decided to gift them with a very controversial penalty which many feel wasn’t the correct decision, even some Ghanaians shared the same sentiment. What confused many is the fact that we don’t know if Rushine De Reuck was penalised for pushing or pulling Daniel Amartey.

Not having VAR

It’s embarrassing that we still don’t have VAR in Africa, especially in World Cup qualifiers that carry so much weight. World Cup qualifiers should have VAR as they are very important and a country gets a shot once every four years. In the first leg, Percy Tau scored a legitimate goal against Ghana at the FNB stadium but was flagged offside and that goal would’ve made a difference in yesterday’s outcome.

Having a venue that’s more than four hours away from the airport

According to veteran journalist Robert Marawa, Bafana Bafana travelled nine hours from Accra to the Cape Coast Stadium where the match was played. This could’ve been a strategic move from the Ghanaian’s a country that is no stranger to gamesmanship.

It is especially frustrating as our federation (SAFA) always take the high road and afford visiting nations excellent hotels, training facilities and match venues. 

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