Qatar 22 qualifiers on hold as FIFA probe SAFA’s match-fixing complaint

SAFA sent an official complaint after Ghana reached the African World Cup play-offs through a controversial penalty that denied South Africa the chance to go through

Ghana defeated South Africa 1-0 on Sunday to top Group G and send Bafana out of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. The Black Stars were awarded a questionable penalty in the 33rd minute, which was converted by Andre Ayew.

The South African FA (SAFA) issued an official complaint about the incident to FIFA a few hours after the game. The SAFA officials claimed the game was decided by Senegalese referee Maguette Ndiaye.

SAFA roped in the expertise of refereeing expert Ace Ncobo to compile a report on the match. The former FIFA referee said he found 71 controversial incidents.

“If you look at the pattern of bias, you will see that there was no way that South Africa was going to score in that match. This is not only about the penalty but the match in its entirety,” Ncobo said.

FIFA announced on Tuesday that they are now investigating the matter but SAFA have now confirmed they will provide new evidence of match-fixing.

“There was betting on the match. It is a fact that there was betting on the match,” SAFA president Danny Jordaan said in a press conference.

“We want FIFA to investigate this also. What happens in betting, if you know in the 10th minute the referee is going to give a penalty, then there is a betting spike just before the penalty is given.”

Jordaan claimed there was a sudden spike in the bets placed on Ghana before the game.

“If that happens, if the betting spikes coincide with the decision, then you know. But, how is it that there is a betting spike just before a major decision is taken? So they knew when to bet because it’s online betting, so you watch the match and you watch the match because you have the information.

“We don’t have the capacity to do that [investigation] so we have asked FIFA to do that.”

For the time being, Ghana have won the group with 13 points, advancing to the 3rd round of the qualifiers.

The 10 qualified teams will play five play-off matches to determine Africa’s five spots in the Qatar World Cup. The African Confederation (CAF) has scheduled the competition for March 2022.

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