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WATCH: Former FIFA ref Ace Ncobo unearths damning stats that point to ref bias in Bafana Bafana’s Ghana loss

Keagan Dolly and Bruce Vuma of South Africa consoles Rushine De Reuck after Bafana Bafana’s controversial loss. Photo: Thabang Lepule/BackpagePix

Keagan Dolly and Bruce Vuma of South Africa consoles Rushine De Reuck after Bafana Bafana’s controversial loss. Photo: Thabang Lepule/BackpagePix

Published Nov 17, 2021


Cape Town - Andile 'Ace' Ncobo, a former member of the FIFA Panel of International Referees and ex-PSL general has unearthed some damning statistics which point to blatant bias from match officials in Sunday's World Cup qualifier between hosts Ghana and South Africa.

Ncobo, who nowadays is the independent expert referee of the country's national football association SAFA, said he spent more than five hours researching video recordings of the first half of the match. Once he has done with the second half his findings will be handed over to SAFA.

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Speaking on Monday evening's Extra Time TV show on SuperSport, Ncobo said a comprehensive report must be compiled and which shows manipulation by match officials before football's world governing body FIFA will start investigating the performance of the referee and his assistants.

“To analyse the match, it took me five hours 17 minutes to analyse just the first half," said Ncobo.

"I’m only doing the second half tomorrow (Tuesday) because I got the footage this morning. You know, article 18 of the FIFA disciplinary code speaks about manipulation of a match, and we’ll put up (on the TV screen) those articles right now.

“Many people think that you can simply write to FIFA and say, no, this referee was poor, so let’s replay the match. No, it doesn’t work like that. You must prove that the result of the match was manipulated in some way or the other.

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“That’s what the FIFA disciplinary code says, that we have article 18.1, which says anyone who directly or indirectly by an act or an omission, which means by taking a decision or not taking a decision, unlawfully influences or manipulates the course, result or any other aspect of a match and/or competition or conspires to attempt to do so by any means shall be sanctioned with a minimum five-year ban on taking part, right.

“And then article 18.2, then speaks directly about match officials, if a player or official engages in behaviour that is described in paragraph, one where they unlawfully influence the result, then that’s where FIFA comes in and investigates. It’s not about poor performance.

“You know, in the report that I have, because I’ve already submitted the report for the first half to SAFA. In the report, I said, you can’t make a submission to FIFA and try and fight for a replay based on poor performance. Because if there’s poor performance, that’s not a problem, you can’t appeal. But how do you differentiate poor performance from manipulation?

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“This is what I discovered when I analysed them. This is just coming out of the first half. There was an average of one major incident per minute when major incidents, game-changing incidents, where the other team gains possession from whatever decision that has been taken, 45 major incidents in the first half, number of ignored or not seen.

“For whatever reason, I don’t want to speculate on the reason, that’s for SAFA to investigate, why there were 17 out of 45 major incidents, that the whistle was never blown. Now, the number of awarded out of the 45, only 28 were awarded, because the 17 were ignored."

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SAFA will share the information at a press conference today.