EPL Star: We Respect Bafana, But Replay Is Necessary
Premier League Star: We Respect Bafana Bafana, But Replay Is Necessary
A Premier League star is looking forward to replaying Bafana Bafana in a 2018 World Cup qualifier in November after FIFA found the referee of the original fixture guilty of match-fixing.
Referee Joseph Odartei Lamptey was handed a lifetime ban after being found guilty of match-fixing in South Africa's 2-1 win over Senegal in November last year.
FIFA has ordered the teams to replay the qualifier, and Liverpool star Sadio Mane is looking forward to it.
"Honestly, I am happy (about the replay) because it was not an easy game for us and it was not an easy situation," Mane told ESPN FC.
"Everybody who watched the game knows that it was not a normal thing to deal with. It was a very strange decision, but we are football players so we accepted it because we couldn't change anything.
"The two goals were very... well, you couldn't understand them, so it is good for us that FIFA has made the decision, and we will take this game seriously and try to win.
"This gives us a second chance, but it doesn't mean that we have won the game already. South Africa is a very good team and we respect them a lot."
Bafana have lost their past two qualifying games, both against Cape Verde, while Senegal have drawn their past two matches.
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