Referee Maguette Ndiaye

Senegal referee Maguette Ndiaye. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

AFCON: Questions asked of referee at centre of Bafana controversy

The referee at the centre of Bafana Bafana’s FIFA World Cup qualifier controversy has again had his decision-making questioned.

Referee Maguette Ndiaye

Senegal referee Maguette Ndiaye. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Senegal referee Maguette Ndiaye, who is one of 24 officials in action at the AFCON finals in Cameroon, came under fire from SAFA for his handling of Bafana Bafana’s final 2022 Soccer World Cup qualifier against Ghana last year.


Bafana Bafana needed to avoid defeat to progress to the next round of qualifying, but lost 1-0 to the Black Stars thanks to a controversial penalty awarded by Ndiaye to the home side.

SAFA promptly lodged an official complaint, but world governing body FIFA laughed off the objection.

Senegal referee took charge of Sunday’s last 16 match between Nigeria and Tunisia

Although Nigeria interim coach Austin Eguavoen refused to blame the referee outright after the Super Eagles crashed out of the tournament, he did question certain aspects of the officiating.

“I don’t like to talk too much about referees, because they are the masters,” he said in his post-match press conference.

“But there is nothing wrong, if one makes his own observation. Iwobi’s red card, I don’t think [it was a red card].

“It was the first foul, and it wasn’t intentional, but we have to look at the VAR later and see.

“However, first offence, I don’t think it was a red card. It wasn’t dangerous play.

“And then right in his face, I can see one of the most gentlemen in the team, Wilfred Ndidi, got smashed and right in the face of the referee.

“He complained, which means it was a clear foul. But having said that, we gain advantage to move on and breakaway, and then he recalls it and gives us foul.

“Normally, in the game of football, where there’s a foul in an advantageous position, you let it run. So that is just the only thing I see.

“But the referee is a gentleman, he should be able to control his emotions. Once the game is done, questions stop. It has happened, there is nothing we can do about it.”