Safa write to CAS in support of Burkina Faso appeal

Dennis Mumble CEO of Safa (Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix)

Dennis Mumble CEO of Safa (Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix)

The SA Association submitted a document on Monday to the Court of Abitration for Sport (CAS), in support of the Burkinabe Football Federation’s (FBF) appeal to CAS over Fifa’s decision to order a replay of Bafana Bafana’s 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier against Senegal.

According to Safa CEO Dennis Mumble, CAS set a deadline of Monday for all documents to be submitted regarding this matter, though it is unclear yet exactly when the FBF’s case will be heard.
Bafana are set to play the replayed Group D match against Senegal on November 10 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.

South Africa beat Senegal 2-1 at the same venue on November 12 of last year, but Fifa subsequently banned Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey for life for match manipulation in that game, and ordered a replay once CAS had upheld the life-ban, which Lamptey appealed.

Safa have already said that they will honour the replay and that they will not contest Fifa’s decision, as they do not want to benefit from match manipulation.

However, they have written a letter to CAS in support of Burkina Faso’s appeal, mainly, it seems, over the questions this matter raises over Fifa’s rule that a referee’s decision is final.
“We need certainly around whether this principle is a principle that should remain,” said Mumble.

“While we accept that the match was manipulated and we don’t want to be seen as beneficiaries of a manipulated outcome, how do you stop the floodgates from opening now?

“This is a fundamental principle that we have all grown up with in football … we are not fighting directly with Fifa, we are preparing as if we will play the match over again, but what is the issue is whether the principle of the thing we were always operating on no longer applies.”

“Maybe this will lead to a new regulation that says a referee’s decision is final unless it is proven beyond doubt that a match has been manipulated.”

As it stands, Senegal need just one more win from their final two qualifiers against Bafana to be assured of a World Cup 2018 spot, while Bafana would have to beat Senegal home-and-away to qualify.

Burkina Faso would need to beat Cape Verde in their final qualifier in Ouagadougou and hope that other results go their way.

In announcing the decision to appeal to CAS last month, the FBF said in a statement that it, “continues to oppose a decision that is tainted by abuse of power and irrelevant to the texts of the international football authority.”

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