BAFANA Bafana could still have been in the 2010 Fifa World Cup - but because of a referee's knockout error goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune got his marching orders.
Fifa president Sepp Blatter knows the referee should instead have blown for an offside.
Soccer connoisseurs will tell you that a solitary goal can snuff the spirit of a Pele or Lionel Messi. Bafana's play was pedestrian after they fell behind 2-0 to that converted penalty.
South Africa's hopes were dead and buried.
So much can rest on one goal in football that as a rule there should be no margin for error when it is given or disallowed.
That is why the English are so inconsolable after they were knocked out against a rampant Germany by a referee's mistake.
Mexico are equally aggrieved after Argentina's insurance second goal was scored from an offside position.
All these make it imperative for Fifa to stop burying its head in the sand and look to other means - technology or a fourth referee - to eradicate such merciless errors.