[imagesource: Twitter / @iDiskiTimes]
South Africans are developing a bit of a reputation for moaning about officiating.
The British & Irish Lions tour and Rassie Erasmus’ video come to mind, but in the end, it’s the Springboks who tend to have the last laugh.
I see Ben Smith, that Kiwi journalist who loves to run his mouth, has been very quiet this weekend.
Sometimes moaning about the officiating is well and truly justified, and last night’s 2022 World Cup qualifier loss to Ghana is one such occasion.
Needing a draw to progress to the final qualifying round, Bafana Bafana lost 1-0 to the most dubious of penalties.
Rushine De Reuck was adjudged to have fouled Daniel Amartey, and was also handed a yellow card, before Ghana skipper Andrew Ayew made no mistake from the spot:
Ghana make it to the World Cup play-offs thanks to this penalty decision and a 1-0 win over South Africa.
— Sanny Rudravajhala (@SannyR1985) November 14, 2021
One more time:
Soft penalties for jersey tugs happen from time to time, but this is just a total stinker.
So bad, in fact, that the SA Football Association (Safa) suspects the match may have been fixed.
Senegalese referee Maguette Ndiaye and his colleagues Samba Elhadji Malick (assistant I), Camara Djibril (assistant II) and Gueye Daouda (fourth referee) delivered one of the most shocking performances by a team of match officials ever seen in an international match…
Besides the harsh penalty, the Senegalese officials made several other questionable calls that have prompted Safa to suspect there may have been match fixing involved.
Incensed Safa CEO Tebogo Motlanthe told TimesLIVE they would not take the outcome of the match lying down and action must be taken against the match officials.
Motlanthe went on to say that Safa wants both Caf (Confederation of African Football) and FIFA to investigate.
He stated on the record that Safa’s position is that it suspects the game was fixed, and they have already informed Kachalla Babagana Kalli, the match commissioner, of their intention to “escalate their suspicions”.
Looks like we’ll be drawing on the Rassie playbook as well:
A video analysis of the match officials’ performance will be made, highlighting the violation of the rules of the game on a decision by decision basis until he blew the final whistle.
Can Bafana borrow Jaco Johan for a week or so, Rassie?
Bafana head coach Hugo Broos was understandably irate after the match, and laid into the refereeing, reports KickOff:
“I congratulate Ghana but I congratulate my boys also because we played against a very aggressive opponent which the referee allowed,” Broos said.
“I am very disappointed in the result but I’m proud of my players. But I have to say, the referee today allowed Ghana to be too aggressive.
“I have nothing against aggressive play but it has to be legal aggression.”
Regarding the penalty, Broos was rather diplomatic, saying he was far from the action but “saw my players were surprised”.
As you can imagine, social media was full of venting, including from former Everton and Bafana midfielder Steven Pienaar:
How was that a penalty? Disgrace @CAF_Online
— Steven Pienaar (@therealstevenpi) November 14, 2021
Broadcaster Robert Marawa also joined in
They made the Team to drive 9hrs to the Venue then gave us a fong-kong referee!!
— robertmarawa (@robertmarawa) November 14, 2021
When the Springboks play the English this coming weekend, we can only hope the officiating isn’t something that is talked about at length after the final whistle.
Even when it’s justified, it leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
Let’s finish on a high. Here’s Siya Kolisi signing a man’s bottom after our victory against Scotland to lift the spirits.
The bum tap really brings a smile:
— Dave Nosworthy (@DONCRICKET) November 13, 2021
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