Patrice Motsepe: CAF President Breaks Silence on Yanga vs Mamelodi Sundowns Controversial VAR Call

Patrice Motsepe: CAF President Breaks Silence on Yanga vs Mamelodi Sundowns Controversial VAR Call

Robert Abong'o
updated at May 24, 2024 at 7:26 PM
In this article:
Young Africans logo
Young Africans
Mamelodi Sundowns logo
Mamelodi Sundowns
South Africa
CAF Champions League logo
CAF Champions League
  • Patrice Mostepe has addressed the controversial incident between Yanga and Mamelodi Sundowns
  • The Tanzanians thought they had scored after Stephan Aziz Ki's strike appeared to cross the goal line
  • Yanga wrote a protest letter to CAF raising several points, which Motsepe's response aimed to address

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Confederation of African Football (CAF) President, Dr. Patrice Motsepe, has finally spoken out regarding the contentious incident in the CAF Champions League clash between Young Africans and Mamelodi Sundowns.

The match, which ended in a penalty shootout victory for the South African outfit, was marred by a controversial refereeing decision that denied Yanga a crucial goal.

During the match, Stephane Aziz Ki unleashed a powerful shot in the 59th minute that hit the crossbar and appeared to bounce over the goal line.

CAF President, Patrice Motsepe, answers questions during a past press conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. Photo: Jemal Countess.
CAF President, Patrice Motsepe, has spoken out about the controversial Champions League call denying Yanga a goal vs Mamelodi Sundowns. Photo: Jemal Countess.
Source: Getty Images

As Yanga players and fans began to celebrate, the game was paused for a VAR review. To the dismay of coach Miguel Gamondi and supporters, the referee ruled that no goal had been scored, allowing play to continue.

Following the goalless draw over two legs, Sundowns advanced to the semi-finals by winning the penalty shootout 3-2. The decision sparked outrage and led to significant debate among fans and football analysts.

In a recent visit to Tanzania for the CAF Schools Football Championship, Motsepe was questioned about the incident. He shared his perspective, expressing that from a fan’s viewpoint, Aziz Ki’s effort appeared to be a goal. However, he stressed the necessity of respecting official procedures before making any public comments.

"I told President Wallace Karia when we met after the match that I thought it was a goal. Although the President of CAF is not supposed to comment, as a football fan, it looked like a goal to me. However, we must respect the rules and the VAR system. It’s crucial that supporters have confidence in the integrity and independence of referees, match commissioners, and VAR," Motsepe said, as reported by iDiski Times.

Highlighting the importance of maintaining high standards, Motsepe noted that while VAR functioned almost flawlessly at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), CAF must strive to achieve world-class standards consistently across all competitions. He underscored the need for substantial investment in the future of African football to ensure fairness and accuracy in officiating.

Yanga, currently facing a FIFA-imposed transfer ban due to irregularities in player registration, has not taken the controversial decision lightly. Per Citizen, the Tanzanian champions sent a protest letter to CAF, alleging match-fixing and questioning the referee's refusal to acknowledge Ki’s goal.

Yanga coach fumes after controversial Loss

Sports Brief reported that Yanga head coach, Manuel Gamondi, expressed disappointment in the match officials that handled the game.

Gamondi turned his post-match press conference into a fiery battlefield, blasting the referee and VAR officials for denying his side what he termed a 'clear goal'.

Uninterested in entertaining questions, Gamondi lambasted Mauritian referee Dahane Beida for failing to see a review from the pitch-side VAR monitor.

Robert Abong'o photo
Robert Abong'o
Editor - Africa Team
Patrice Motsepe