Boost for South Africa as FIFA ratifies Spain game

South Africa Football Association President Dr Danny Jordaan says he is delighted that FIFA has confirmed that the Bafana Bafana-Spain friendly international was played within the rules of an ‘A’ category international friendly.

Speaking after receiving a letter from FIFA which confirmed that the South Africa-Spain friendly match on 19 November 2013 had been ratified as a full ‘A’ international encounter, Dr Jordaan said the world governing body had just confirmed SAFA’s long held position.

“We complied with all the regulations for this historic victory and I am happy this matter has been laid to rest. The country must savour this win as Bafana Bafana were the first country to beat Spain on the African continent.

“We expect that the impact of the victory will be reflected in the next December FIFA rankings as the ruling arrived on the date the November ranking were released,” added Dr Jordaan.

South Africa won the match thanks to a goal from Bernard Parker in the 56th minute.

But the 1-0 victory might have been rendered worthless had FIFA downgraded the game after Spain’s error.

The Spanish made one more substitution than FIFA regulations allow when Napoli keeper Pepe Reina came on on for injured Victor Valdes.

A statement from FIFA reads as follows:

“FIFA can confirm that the South Africa-Spain friendly match of 19 November remains an ‘A’ international, despite the fact that Spain allegedly used more than the maximum of six substitutes that the Laws of the Game stipulate can be used for such a match.

“FIFA have taken into account that both teams had agreed on the conditions of the match and submitted the necessary documentation prior to the match in order for FIFA to confirm it as an ‘A’ international. In this context, South Africa shall not suffer any negative consequences on its part for adhering to the agreed conditions and only using up to a maximum of six substitutes during the match.

“The match shall be considered as an official match and is therefore included in the November edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.

“Regarding the alleged incident of Spain using more than the maximum of six substitutes, FIFA is currently analysing the information at our disposal to assess possible next steps.”