Bafana’s World Cup hopes sink as Safa accepts Fifa decision

The South African Football Association (Safa) will not be appealing the Fifa ruling that Bafana Bafana must replay their World Cup qualifier against Senegal

The world footballing mother body made the ruling last week, which was based on the fact that the referee who officiated South Africa’s 2-1 win over Senegal in November last year, Joseph Lamptey, has been handed a lifetime ban for match manipulation.

Safa had been considering challenging the ruling, but has now stated that it will accept the replay.

“Safa’s position is clear on the issue of match fixing and manipulation. We cannot benefit from such and take the points,” Safa President Danny Jordaan said at a press conference on Tuesday.

“We agree with Fifa that the match should be replayed. We don’t support match-fixing. We want that to be clear. This is a moral and ethical matter. We asked: “If this match was manipulated, do you as Safa want those points?”

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The win against Senegal, which was previous Bafana head coach Shakes Mashaba’s last game in charge, had been South Africa’s only victory to date in Group D.

The readjusted table sees them with only one point from three matches. Group leaders Burkina Faso and Cape Verde each have six points from four games.

Mathematically, Stuart Baxter’s side can still qualify for Russia 2018. But they would likely need to win all three of their remaining matches – at home to Burkina Faso and Senegal, and away to Senegal in Dakar, while also hoping other results go their way.

South Africa hosted the 2010 World Cup, but have not qualified for the football showcase since 2002.

– African News Agency