South Africa vs Senegal World Cup qualifier to be replayed
The 2018 World Cup qualification match between South Africa and Senegal will be replayed, a year after it took place, in last November. FIFA ordered the replay after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decided to uphold the lifetime ban on the match referee Joseph Lamptey, for match manipulation. The match is due to be replayed during the Nov 2017 international window.
The dubious penalty incident that caused the ban
In the controversial qualifier match, where South Africa won 2-1 against Senegal, Ghanian match referee Joseph Lamptey awarded a penalty in favour of South Africa, for a nonexistent handball. The replay showed that the ball struck Senegal's defender Kalidou Koulibaly on the knee. South Africa took the initial lead by scoring from the spot and went on to win the match.
The South Africa vs Senegal match led to protests by Senegal and a complaint was launched against the corresponding match official Joseph Lamptey. After a FIFA investigation into the matter the FIFA Disciplinary Committee found Lamptey guilty of "unlawfully influencing match results," and decided to ban him for life, in March 2017. The Ghanian referee appealed to overturn the the decision.
What does this mean for the teams' standings?
As it stands, after the match has been annulled, Senegal and South Africa stand third and fourth, with five and one points respectively, in their group in the final round of Africa World Cup qualifiers. Only the team that finishes on top of the group automatically qualifies for the World Cup. A win for Senegal in the replay can elevate them to top spot.
The only match Bafana had won
Incidentally the win over Senegal was the only match that South Africa won in the final round of African qualifiers. Their current one point is what they gained from a draw with Burkina Faso, which occupy the first place in the group with 6 points.