Africa’s Group D table could be flipped upside down, almost literally, after FIFA ordered a replay of a November 2016 match.
Referee Joseph Lamptey was banned for life for match manipulation in South Africa’s 2-1 win over Senegal last year, a match which included an absolutely awful penalty call.
This makes for a high stakes match in November’s international break. From FIFA:
“This decision follows the confirmation of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to upholdthe lifetime ban of match referee, Jospeh Lamptey, for match manipulation, the ruling imposed by the FIFA Disciplinary and Appeal Committees.”
The win is the lone victory for South Africa in the group and strips Bafana Bafana of three points which could propel Senegal atop Group D. Only the first place team in each CAF group makes it to Russia.
Senegal is otherwise unbeaten, having drawn twice and beaten Cape Verde. Here’s how the table looked before the ruling:
Burkina Faso — 6 pts, +2 GD
Cape Verde — 6 pts, -2 GD
Senegal — 5 pts, +1 GD
South Africa — 4 pts, -1 GD
Now the table opens up incredibly well for Senegal, though the Lions of Teranga will have to play South Africa twice in the November window.
The table now sits this way:
Burkina Faso — 6 pts, +2 GD, 2 to play
Cape Verde — 6 pts, -2 GD, 2 to play
Senegal — 5 pts, Even GD, 3 to play
South Africa — 1 pt, -2 GD, 3 to play
Senegal goes to Cape Verde on Oct. 7, while South Africa hosts Burkina Faso.
On Nov. 6, Burkina Faso hosts Cape Verde and South Africa visits Senegal, while the replayed fixture will be held in South Africa a few days later.
It’s a huge ruling for Senegal and crushing for South Africa.