Cape Town - While South Africa's football fraternity are still reeling with shock after Fifa rejected South Africa's protest with an abrupt one-liner, Ghana FA scornfully said the outcome has shown "South African Football Association knows nothing in football".
Late on Friday afternoon, Fifa, football world governing body, finally, after 10 days, ended its silent treatment by declaring that the protest lodged by the South African Football Association (Safa) was "inadmissible".
The Fifa Disciplinary Committee had already met on 23 November to consider the protest which followed Bafana Bafana’s controversial 1-0 loss to the Black Stars of Ghana on 14 November.
The protest was lodged with Fifa on 15 November. FIFA publicly acknowledged receiving the protest and said its disciplinary committee would meet on November 23.
The Safa CEO Tebogo Motlanthe was somewhat perplexed by Fifas brunt response which it did not explain.
“They [Fifa] responded only with a one-liner to say our appeal was inadmissible," said Motlanthe.
"We are still going to discuss the way forward and formulate a response. For now, that is all Fifa have said in their response today. We will need further explanation before we can respond in detail."
While several media reports say South Africa have 10 days to appeal, the official document that Safa made available to domestic media say nothing of the sort. The document says Safa may request an explanation for the rejection of the protest.
Fifas statement reads: “The judicial bodies may decide not to communicate the grounds of a decision and instead communicate only the terms of the decision. The parties have ten days from receipt of the terms of the decision to request, in writing, the grounds of the decision and that failure to do so will result in the decision becoming final and binding (article 51 of the FifaDisciplinary Code).”
Meanwhile, Fifa's announcement was met with great jubilation in Ghana. The country's media carried several reports that acclaimed the outcome of South Africa's protest. Leading the charge was Ghana Football Association general secretary Prosper Harrison Addo. He was loud and proud as he poured scorn on Safa in an interview on Light FM, a commercial-free online radio station.
He said South Africa failed to accept the decision in good faith.
“The South African Football Association knows nothing in football and this case clearly shows how incompetent they are," said Addo.
"They want to frustrate Ghana, and we are focussed on the Afcon and the Fifa World Cup playoff."
A comprehensive report related to the FIFA World Cup qualifier between Ghana and Bafana Bafana has been handed over the world governing body, FIFA and we now await their next step. #bafanabafana #WCQ2022 pic.twitter.com/8EcTr1LIlm— Bafana Bafana (@BafanaBafana) November 17, 2021
A Ghana-based report said that South Africa would head to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to challenge Fifa’s ruling on their protest.
While nobody at Safa has made that comment in the aftermath of Fifa's announcement, Motlanthe did mention the possibility of approaching CAS a few days ago. He was commenting on Fifa's stony silence while Safa was awaiting the outcome.
Motlanthe said at the time: “Remember, they said they are going to listen to the matter on the 23rd. Fifa didn’t say they were going to give a decision on that day, so let’s just give them their time to do their work.
“There are a lot of things they are dealing with. If they don’t give you a good reason, you can still go and challenge the matter with CAS. So, they rather do their work, and we give them the space.”
On Saturday, Safa president Danny Jordaan and Motlanthe would not be drawn into comment on Addo's sarcastic remarks or the organisation's next step. However, Jordaan did tell IOL Sport that Safa will meet on Friday (December 10th) to decide on the line of action.