World football governing body, FIFA has dismissed appeals from South Africa and Benin Republic relating to decisive 2022 World Cup qualifying matches involving the teams.
Bafana Bafana had claimed they were “robbed” after their 1-0 defeat against Black Stars of Ghana last month, with the only goal in the game scored from a first-half penalty.
South Africa had needed a draw to finish as group winners and reach the play-offs, but the result meant Ghana progressed at their expense on goals scored.
The South Africa Football Association (Safa) included allegations of “match fixing, match manipulation including corruption and bribery” when it lodged a complaint with FIFA.
Safa president Danny Jordaan later claimed there was a betting spike during the qualifier, which took place in Cape Coast on 14 November.
An appeal by Benin Republic about substitutions made by DR Congo in another crunch qualifier on the same day has also been dismissed by FIFA.
Benin’s protest concerned their 2-0 defeat by DR Congo – a result which saw the Leopards qualify ahead of Benin, who had needed a win to advance.
DR Congo were said to have made four substitution across four windows which is against FIFA regulations, which permits five substitions across three windows.
The football body’s disciplinary committee declared both protests inadmissible as they did not meet relevant requirements – but also added the decisions are subject to appeal.
While Fifa referred to its Disciplinary Code and the regulations for the World Cup qualifiers, it did not offer the exact reasons for the rulings.
It means, as it stands, that Ghana and DR Congo will be in January’s draw for the African World Cup play-offs, with two-legged ties to decide the continent’s five representatives in Qatar set to be played in March.
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