FIFA will give its final decision for the match between Ghana and South Africa. The South Africans had filed an appeal because of the partiality of the Senegalese referee Maguette Ndiaye. The two teams will be fixed this Tuesday, November 23. The same goes for the DRC-Benin match, which was also the subject of much discussion.
Ghana vs South Africa, the match continues behind the scenes. After qualifying on the pitch with a 1-0 win, Ghana are awaiting confirmation from FIFA. South Africa, on the other hand, has lodged an appeal. The South Africans believe that the referee influenced the result because of the phantom penalty awarded to Ghana.
After acknowledging receipt of South Africa's complaint, FIFA announced a date for deliberation. That of Tuesday 23 November 2021. Ghana-South Africa will therefore finally deliver a final verdict.
South Africa may be expecting a punishment commensurate with that of their match against Senegal in 2017. But the contexts are different. Since the Ghanaian referee had received bribes.
Can South Africa win the case?
If Ghana won on the field, can they lose after FIFA intervention? This is highly unlikely. Unless FIFA or South Africa provide clear evidence that the referee received bribes, as was the case in the 2017 South Africa-Senegal match.
At present, SAFA (South African Football Association) has only found clear refereeing errors. Could these errors cause FIFA to change the outcome of the match? It could set a precedent. And all the other teams that have been wronged by the refereeing could go down this route to win their case.
Ghana has issued a statement via its Football Association, which reads: "In summary, SAFA's alleged protest is a hoax and an attempt to discredit the World Cup brand. We consider the purported protest to be baseless and instituted without any evidence or motive, solely to annoy the Ghana Football Association and tarnish the good image of the World Cup and the Black Stars." So much for that.
Benin crosses its fingers
South Africa is not the only nation waiting for a verdict, however. Benin had also lodged an appeal to invalidate the result of the match in the DRC. The Beninese had lost 2-0. A match during which they pointed out several irregularities.
The Beninese first regretted a blatant error on the penalty kick that led to the first goal for the DRC. They then pointed out an irregularity made by the Congolese. The Congolese made their changes in four sessions. The FIFA rules stipulate that teams are entitled to five changes, which must be made in three sessions.
The verdict of this match is highly anticipated. Especially if Benin wins the match with a victory by forfeit, it would constitute a major precedent in the history of the five changes allowed in three sessions. Since its introduction a year and a half ago, no team had yet violated this rule. Some teams have made six changes, but with different penalties. Roma (on 17 January 2021 in the Italian Cup against Spezia) had lost on the green carpet. So did Wolfsburg (in the German Cup against Munster) on 17 August 2021. While Equatorial Guinea had made 6 changes against Libya on 20 November 2020 during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers (3-2 victory) without CAF invalidating their success.