The knock-on effect of FIFA ordering a replay of the South Africa-Senegal World Cup qualifier because of corrupt officiating has taken another twist with group leader Burkina Faso criticising the move as unconstitutional.
South Africa’s Football Association (SAFA) held emergency talks on Monday following FIFA’s decision which was based on “match manipulation” by Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey who has been banned for life.
South Africa won the game 2-1 but the bigger picture is that Senegal are only a point behind Burkina Faso after four qualifiers, prompting the Burkino Faso FA (FBF) to issue a strongly worded condemnation of FIFA’s ruling, describing it as “illegal.”
Nowhere, it says, does the FIFA disciplinary code “dealing with cases of unlawful influence on the outcome of a match … in any way mention the possibility to repeat a game.”
As a result, the FBF accuses FIFA of deliberate favouritism and demands the decision be reversed in order to “save us from a referral to the Court of Arbitration for Sports.”
The FBF responded to FIFA
On 7 September, the Burkina Faso Football Federation (FBF) received by ampliation a signed correspondence from the FIFA Deputy Secretary General informing him of the resumption of the South Africa-Senegal match (Pool D), a match played on 12 November 2016 and counting for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
The next day, 8 September 2017, the Burkina Faso Football Association, whose national team, the Etalons, is the leader in this group D, sent to the President of the FIFA World Cup a legal opinion
In this correspondence, the FBF, in view of the serious consequences that could result from such a decision for the other teams of the group, and particularly for the Burkina Faso team, the FBF drew FIFA’s attention to a certain number of illegalities contained in the decision.
This is the “legal incompetence of the FIFA World Cup qualifications office”. The Football Federation of Burkina Faso stressed that “the regulation of competitions of the World Cup in Article 3 paragraph 3.O” gives competence to the office of qualifications in any other aspect of the competition which does not belong to any organ under the statutes FIFA or the rules of the 2018 World Cup “.
In order to do so, the FBF concluded that, by this decision, “the Bureau of Qualifications is out of its field of competence because, in the present case, the present repetition of the match is not motivated by a case of force but as a disciplinary measure to combat the manipulation of matches “. For the FBF,
In a second point, the FBF drew FIFA’s attention to the violation of FIFA regulations. After recalling the articulations of Article 31 bis of the disciplinary code defining matches to be replayed, the FBF noted that “the reasons which led the Disciplinary Committee, the Appeals Board and the CAS respectively to impose penalties with regard to the referee of the match, are not to be found in any of the cases listed in the article concerned.
In view of this, the FBF says it is “staggering that the FIFA World Cup qualifying office” to decide on the resumption of this match, unless, it suspects, “the decision does not contain disguised intentions “.
In its opinion, the Football Federation of Burkina Faso made clear that “Article 69 (only) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code dealing with cases of unlawful influence on the outcome of a match does not in any way mention the possibility to repeat a game. Better, the FBF confirms, “Article 15.6 of the FIFA World Cup Rules stipulates that the decisions of the referee on facts of play can not be the subject of any complaint “.
This article, states the FBF, “clearly states that the decisions of the referee regarding the facts of the game can not be postponed.
From all the above, the Football Federation of Burkina Faso believes that the “decision of the World Cup qualifications office is vitiated by a number of irregularities”.
Beyond these irregularities, the FBF says it is “incomprehensible that the decision of the Bureau of Qualifications intervenes in a context where a team of the group regarded rightly or wrongly as favorite is in a difficult position. This is evidenced by the decision taken the day after the double confrontation between Burkina Faso and Senegal. Worse, the match is scheduled at the end of the 6 th day counting for the qualification. ”
For this reason, the FBF has come to the conclusion: “We believe very clearly that the decision of the Bureau of Qualifications is likely to favor a team of the group and therefore bridges teams like those of Burkina Faso, Cape Verde and even South Africa which has not lost any hope of qualification. ”
The Burkina Faso football maker therefore demands that the decision be reversed because “illegal and tainted with excess of power”.
To conclude this correspondence addressed to FIFA, the Burkinabe Football Federation hopes that the decision of the latter “will save us from a referral to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (TAS) Lausanne”.
FBF PRESS RELEASE IN CONNECTION WITH FIFA’S DECISION
On September 7, 2017, FIFA notified the Burkina Faso Football Federation (FBF) by correspondence dated 6 September 2017 and signed by the Deputy Secretary-General (Football) of the said body, the decision of the World Cup qualifications office of FIFA.
In the correspondence, the Bureau took the decision that the game South Africa-Senegal will be replayed during the FI FAday in November. Therefore, the match continues, “the result of the match of November 12, 2016 is canceled for all effects”.
The correspondence states that in accordance with Article 3 paragraph 4 of the Regulations for the FIFA World Cup, Russia 2018, this “decision is final and without appeal”.
Following this notification, the Legal Affairs Committee of the Burkinabe Football Federation is currently analyzing the follow-up to this decision.
The FBF invites the Burkinabe sports public to remain united and solidary behind the Stallions for even more victories and for a qualification for the 2018 World Cup.
The qualifying match of the 2018 World Cup, South Africa – Senegal played on 12 November 2016 is to be replayed:
The decision was taken today 6 September by the qualifying office for the World Cup. This decision follows the confirmation by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to apply the lifetime ban of referee Joseph Lamptey for match manipulation. The match will be replayed in November 2017.
Source: Inside World Football