2022 World Cup qualifiers: Ghana go to Fifa with protest over Ethiopia's South Africa decision

Andre Ayew and Thomas Teye Partey of Ghana, referee Victor Gomes, 2019 AfconBackpagepix

Ghana have launched a protest with Fifa over Ethiopia’s decision to host their 2022 World Cup qualifying matchday five fixture in South Africa.

Second in qualifying Group G ahead of the last two rounds of matches, the Black Stars, as things stand, are set for a second game in South Africa in two months as Ethiopia, whose original home ground of Bahir Dar Stadium has been banned from hosting anymore international games, have chosen to host their penultimate round clash with the Black Stars at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on November 11.

In a fierce race with group leaders South Africa, who sit only one point ahead of Ghana, the West Africans have expressed concerns about the appropriateness of the Walias’ chosen venue, considering it stands to possibly benefit Bafana Bafana, who have a strong interest in the game ahead of their final matchday decider in Ghana three days later.

“Following Ethiopia Football Association request to have their World Cup qualifier against Ghana in South Africa, the Ghana Football Association last Friday wrote to the world's football governing body to ensure that there is fair play in the last two matches,” the GFA announced on its official website on Tuesday.

“Ghana and South Africa are separated by one point leading to the last two World Cup group matches. It is therefore shocking that the Ethiopia Football Association will seek to take their home match against Ghana to South Africa.

“The Ghana Football Association has indicated to Fifa that the sporting integrity of the World Cup matches must not be compromised and must ensure that fairness prevail in the remaining two group matches.”

A positive result for Ghana against Ethiopia could set things up for a final day showdown with South Africa.

Only the group winners qualify from the group to the third and final round.

“The GFA is of the view that it is wrong for a game of this magnitude to be played in a country which is in the same group and in contention for the top spot and urge Caf and Fifa to ensure that fair play is practiced to the latter in this matter,” the GFA added.

“The Ghana Football Association will continue to engage Fifa/Caf to ensure that the right thing is done so that the competitive nature of the qualifiers is maintained.

“Finally, due to the complexity surrounding this match, Fifa/Caf have been urged to confirm as soon as possible the venue of the match to enable us to plan our logistics especially player call ups and visa acquisition for the players who are scattered across the world.”

Ghana seek a return to the World Cup after missing out of the 2018 edition in Russia, while South Africa have not competed on the world stage since 2010 at home.