Safa slams GFA for ‘distasteful’ statement

Safa has reacted to the Ghana Football Association’s allegations that South Africa’s football body has been spreading falsehoods that Bafana Bafana were badly treated when they travelled to Cape Coast for Sunday’s 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifier.

The GFA published a scathing statement on Thursday accusing Safa of feeding the media with wrong information about what transpired in the visit which ended with South Africa losing 1-0 to the Black Stars to bow out of the running for Qatar 2022.

Ghana’s football governing body alleged that Safa claimed Bafana travelled for nine hours from Accra to Cape Coast, but the South Africans deny ever saying so. Ghana’s official statement is not addressing the elephant in the room, which is the performance of the match official.

“The Safa position has never been nine hours. The coach said it was three hours, plus two hours which we can’t blame Ghana for — it is their immigration rules,” Safa CEO Tebogo Motlanthe said as per Sowetan Live.

“But we are also saying let’s let the Fifa process take place, and we will respect the decision. We find the GFA’s statement unfortunate and distasteful because it is full of inaccuracies. We did not submit any complaint to the Ghana FA about our treatment in Ghana.”

Earlier in the day, the GFA had also accused Safa of lying to the public that ballboys were involved in delaying tactics that aided Ghana’s win.

It was, however, Bafana captain Ronwen Williams who claimed that the ball retrievers were delaying play.

“Then again, the official handle also tweeted during the match that the SA team was being intimidated, molested, and robbed in Cape Coast,” the GFA said in a statement.

“ … Even though we believe that it is within Safa’s right to call for an investigation, if they feel that certain factors contributed to their loss, we wish to state that the way and manner lies and allegations have been thrown into the public space has been very irresponsible leading to injury and violence

“These allegations from Safa are nothing but a planned scheme and a calculated attempt to shift focus from the defeat, divert attention from their failure to qualify for the play-offs and unjustly dent the hard-earned victory of the Black Stars.

“Is it not sad that even innocent ball boys [ball retrievers] were not spared in the allegations?

“The GFA call on Safa to responsibly accept defeat and show respect to the Black Stars’ achievement on the field, for this is not the first time Ghana has defeated SA and this will not be the last time. In fact, every South African knows the pedigree of the Black Stars in football, a reason the team has a lot of following in SA.”

After Ghana’s win came through a controversial penalty awarded by referee Maguette Ndiaye, Fifa said they are looking into the matter after Safa lodged a complaint with the world football governing body. © goal.com

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