Both Ghana and Sudan are crying foul over the fact South Africa hosted both the home and away legs of their recent Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2022 qualifiers against Sao Tome and Principe.
And they may have a good argument.
Citing Covid-19 concerns, Bafana Bafana hosted the 182nd-ranked Sao Tome in Durban (last Friday) and Port Elizabeth (last Monday).
With home ground advantage, Bafana ran out 2-0 and 4-2 winners, respectively.
BAFANA WILL HAVE PLAYED 4 HOME MATCHES AND ONLY 2 AWAY
When Group C is wrapped up, Bafana would’ve played four home matches in total and only two away, while group whipping boys, Sao Tome, would’ve hosted only two matches and travelled for four.
Ghana and Sudan, meanwhile, would’ve split their matches evenly at three at home and three away.
The South African Football Association (SAFA) covered the travel and accommodation costs for Sao Tome during their stay in South Africa – a small price to pay to avoid having to travel to the island nation situated near the equator off the coast of Gabon.
The two home victories have set Bafana up nicely in terms of qualification for the 2022 AFCON tournament to be held in Cameroon.
However, Sudan did throw a spanner in the works by upsetting Ghana on Tuesday.
As things currently stand, Ghana top the group on nine points, equal on points with Bafana, but ahead on goal difference.
Sudan have moved themselves into the picture on six points, while Sao Tome are rooted to the bottom, still without a single point.
With just the top two sides qualifying for Cameroon, a look at the two remaining fixtures for each side makes for interesting – and potentially worrying – reading for Bafana supporters.
IN THE NEXT ROUND SA WILL HOST GHANA
In the next round of fixtures on March 22, 2021, Sudan will be away to Sao Tome, while South Africa will host Ghana in a pivotal clash.
One would expect Sudan to pick up the full three points, while South Africa will need to avoid defeat at all costs at home to the Black Stars.
The final round of matches on March 30, 2021 will see Ghana host Sao Tome, while Sudan will play host to South Africa.
Ghana will no doubt prove far too strong for Sao Tome and qualify top of the group, leaving the Sudan v South Africa clash to decide the second Group C qualifier.
If South Africa head into that match on the back of a defeat to Ghana the round prior, they will need to beat Sudan away from home in order to qualify – no small task.