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Opinion|| FIFA Should Explain To SAFA And The World Why They Have Suspended The Senegalese Referee

FIFA has dismissed SAFA’s appeal against the penalty awarded to Ghana in the World Cup qualifier but the suspension of the referee takes the insult one step further.

Following a controversial 1-0 defeat at the hands of Ghana, SAFA launched a formal complaint against referee Maquette N’Diaye. After several delays in making their decision, FIFA announced that they will be suspending the Senegalese referee for poor officiating, but on Friday dismissed the protest put forward by SAFA in a widely-criticized decision.

SAFA has gone as far as saying there was potential match-fixing due to betting spikes during the clash but FIFA dismissed their appeals. Suspending the referee for poor officiating on the one hand, and dismissing SAFA’s appeal for the awarding of a penalty that should not have been a penalty on the other, smacks of confusion. 

The suspension of N’Diaye leaves reason to believe he made the wrong decision in awarding the Black Stars the penalty, but disregarding SAFA’s appeal makes it official that the ref made the correct decision. SAFA said in a statement on Friday they will consider its options after FIFA dismissed its protest following Bafana Bafana’s controversial 1-0 loss to the Black Stars of Ghana last month. 

The confusing and unexplained decision by FIFA has meant that months of hard work go unrewarded, breaking the hearts of millions of South African football lovers. Whether or not Bafana would have qualified for the showpiece in Qatar next year, the South African football team were on the right track, and qualifying for the next stage would have been a huge leap in that direction. 

Hopefully, SAFA will find strong points to argue the confusion that FIFA has made by suspending the reference for bad officiating and dismissing its appeal. If SAFA fails to win this case that would be a blow to soccer lovers who have been behind Bafana Bafana all the way.

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