Ghana has launched a scathing attack on South Africa, accusing the host of creating a World Cup qualifying match to accommodate an international competition other than a World Cup qualifier.
The Black Stars lost their South Africa home clash on Saturday night 1-0 after a controversial spot kick resulted in the visitors securing only their second away win against South Africa in 18 efforts.
FIFA now says it will review the incident in question and Ghana’s sports minister Patrick Amewu, however, told the Ghanaian Broadcasting Corporation that the fightback of his team was one of the best results in their history.
“We (Ghana) can’t accept the injustice,” he said. “Ghanaians should not accept it because they are a team of champions, players of champions. To achieve a nation, the best result is a national hero, whether they are on or off the field of play.”
South Africa held Ghana to a draw with four minutes left in Addis Ababa, courtesy of a powerful goal from the former Aston Villa striker Jaco van der Merwe on what was then to be the last kick of the match.
However, one minute into added time it became apparent that was the last kick of the game.
In footage shown during Matchday 4 of the Confederation of African Football Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, Asamoah Gyan appeared to foul van der Merwe in the box. The Ghanaian football association later accepted that Gyan had fouled the South African player and promptly asked for the penalty, with the decision announced soon after.
Ghanaian goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey saved the spot kick but the Africans then saw their miserable night in the back of their minds as David Theophane bagged a late equalizer.
“We knew it was going to be a difficult game,” Amewu said. “We knew it was going to be a very intense game because of South Africa’s pedigree.
“It was unfortunate that in one minute people here thought that Ghana was going to score with the last kick of the game. All we can say to South Africa is that South Africa should’ve given us the confidence in the first place.
“They have given us a brutal beating. We should’ve taken that as encouragement rather than feeling hurt because we are still in this World Cup qualifying race.
“I’m still very surprised and disappointed that the South African FA treated the game the way they did.
“In the history of football Ghana had a lot of draw games in the qualifiers, but never a loss. The worst defeat in our football history has happened on Saturday, maybe the worst defeat in the history of football and this is indeed a double whammy. I am very disappointed but we have to get up.”
Ghana also won their away fixture with the hosts on January 23, 2009.
Ghana Football Association president Kwesi Nyantakyi declined to respond to the Sports Minister’s comments.