It’s been confirmed to the Siya crew that continental governing body CAF has rejected a complaint from Mamelodi Sundowns ahead of their fixture with Al Ahly in the Champions League over the weekend.
The grievance lodged by Downs relates to the first group stage encounter between the two sides at the Cairo International Stadium on February 26, with the South African outfit flagging the conduct of referee Redouane Jiyed of Morocco.
What irked the Brazilians was the red card issued to co-coach Rulani Mokwena, goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene’s yellow for an apparent unsporting behaviour, another caution issued to Lyle Lakay while hosts Al Ahly did not have any players cautioned despite numerous fouls their opponent deemed to have warranted a card or two.
In the letter to CAF, Sundowns also suggested that the Refeerees Committee not only review the game, but also appoint match officials from West, East or Central Africa who would be neutral in a match of this magnitude.
CAF’s response was that referees are selected on merit, although they did appoint Bamlak Tessema Weyesa of Ethiopia for the second tie at FNB Stadium on Saturday, a game Downs also won 1-0 courtesy of a Peter Shalulile goal.
Neither side criticised the referee, although Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane did suggest that the video assistant referee (VAR) technology is now a must in Africa.
Even though Downs seemed quite aggrieved in the letter dated March 8, more than a week after the match in Egypt, the football governing body were also adamant that there was no reason to investigate the conduct of Jiyed.
“We have noted your concerns. Our technical experts have reviewed the match and they concluded that the referees performed at the expected level,” read parts of the reply from CAF in an almost immediate response on the same day.
On Sunday, Downs also confirmed initiating an internal investigation which led to the alleged delay of Ahly arriving at the match venue for their fixture.
Mosimane had confirmed to journalists that the team bus was blocked with barricades and robbed them of a timeous arrival at FNB Stadium.
Check out the gallery from that game in Cairo...