World football governing body, Fifa has cleared South Africa of any wrongdoing after ordering the replay of their 2018 World Cup qualifier with Senegal.
Bafana won the match 2-1 in Polokwane in November last year, but the Senegalese Football Federation (FSF) afterwards reported Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey to Fifa for his decisions in the game.
J.O Lamptey’s poor display on the day included incorrectly awarding a penalty to South Africa, a decision which aided them in winning the game.
In March this year, referee Lamptey was handed a life-time ban for ‘match manipulation’.
There was an appeal against Fifa’s decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) who have also maintained that the ban stands.
Following the affirmation, Fifa on Wednesday, Fifa announced the fixture must be replayed in November this year while keeping silent on who might have connived with the referee in the supposed match manipulation.
The South Africa Football Association (SAFA) wrote to Fifa demanding clarity as they prepare to challenge the replay ruling.
Fifa’s Deputy Secretary General Zvonimir Boban has since penned a letter to SAFA’s CEO Dennis Mumble, which reads:
“Further to yesterday’s communication of the decision passed by the Bureau for the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, whereby the match between South African and Senegal shall be replayed in November 2017, and following SAFA’s acknowledgement letter received last night, Fifa confirms unequivocally that the disciplinary proceedings were directed exclusively at the match referee, Mr Lamptey. We thus herewith confirm that neither SAFA nor the FSF are accused of any wrongdoing. Fifa will make reference to this fact on fifa.com.
“Moreover, please be informed that we acknowledge SAFA’s claim for “cost relief” for the cancelled match of 12 November 2016, and we would kindly request that you provide details on any incurred expenses not offset against revenues obtained for such match for review.
“We trust that this clarification is of assistance and we thank sincerely SAFA for its much appreciated cooperation and support in implementing the decision.”