Bafana Bafana captain Ronwen Williams has made a startling revelation after the side's 1-0 defeat to Ghana in the final FIFA World Cup qualifier this past weekend.
SAFA CEO Tebogo Motlanthe confirmed that the association has lodged a formal complaint to both FIFA and CAF, with the federation of the opinion that there was foul play in the all-round performance of the officiating.
Ghana were awarded a dubious penalty by referee Maguette N'Diaye, which was converted by Andre Ayew in the first half, and it proved to be the decisive goal.
Williams says he felt targeted before the game, when the referee came to him and said that he would get booked if he wasted any time on the pitch. The goalkeeper also questioned the activity of the ball boys after Ghana scored their goal, saying it was unsual to what they had experienced in previous qualifiers.
"When the referee comes to me before the game and says he is going to book me for time wasting, I already feel targeted. Already going into the game with that at the back of my mind, knowing that I am a target and that he is looking at me. Throughout the qualifiers, the ball boys did not have the ball in their hand. The balls were on the cones. But in this specific game, the ball boys had the balls in their hands, which was unheard of in these qualifiers. Whenever the ball would go out, they would restart very quickly and throw it back quickly. But the moment they scored, the ball boys disappeared, as you can imagine. It took long for the balls to get back and I wanted to speak to the referee to tell him that some of the balls are soft, but he did not want to hear anything about it. He said he would rather book me for time wasting," Williams told media during a briefing held at SAFA House in Nasrec, Johannesburg.
"In the second half, the ball boys practically vanished. If you can watch the game again, you will see me running for balls and I think that's where the ref should have stamped his authority and sorted it out. Coming to their goalkeeper... the moment they scored the goal, he took so much time. Not once did I speak to him. I think he only got booked in the last few minutes. From the 32nd minute when we conceded, up until the 90th minute, he was wasting time and not once did he get reprimanded, whereas I was reprimanded before the game and before we conceded. I did not waste time, so I felt targeted already."
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