Ghanaian Referee banned for lifetime by FIFA for ‘Match manipulation’

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Ghanaian Referee banned for lifetime by FIFA for ‘Match manipulation’.

Referees are the ones who are given the responsibility of controlling the game of football on the field. ‘Impartiality’ and ‘Precision’ are the two words always demanded from the people of this profession although mistakes often become part and parcel of the life of the whistlers as ‘To err is human’ and they are often heavily criticised as well.

But when a match official gets lifetime ban from football by the elitest body of football in the world-FIFA on charges of ‘Match manipulation’ then things get serious and the concerned person obviously comes under the scanner of the football fraternity.

Joseph Odartei Lamptey, the Ghanaian match official is banned for lifetime by FIFA from football for awarding an improper or non-existent penalty in a FIFA WC 2018 qualifiers match between South Africa and Senegal on November 2016 at Polokwane.

FIFA on an official press release on Monday said:”The FIFA disciplinary committee has decided to ban the Ghanaian match official Joseph Odartei Lamptey from taking part in any kind of football related activity(administrative, sports or any other) at National and international level for life.” They added:”The official was found guilty for breaching art. 69 par. 1(unlawfully influencing match results) of the FIFA disciplinary code during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match between South Africa and Senegal on 12th November, 2016.”

It all began on the 41st minute of the match between South Africa and Senegal. Lamptey gave the Rainbow nation a penalty for an alleged handball by Senegalese player Kalidou Koulibally in the box although the replay clearly showed it hit his knees. Even the South Africa players did not appeal for the handball when the whistle by Lamptey left all awestruck inside the stadium. South Africa scored from the spot and eventually sealed the home match 2-1.

Lamptey arguing with Senegal players after giving the controversial penalty on 12th Nov, 2016.

South Africa is currently sitting 2nd in the 4 team group while Senegal is at 3rd after two rounds being played. Only one team will get tickets for Putin’s land from this group.

The whole issue began after the match as the Senegal Football Federation(FSF) challenged the referee’s decision and filed a complaint to the Football’s elite body against the referee and also his assistant David Laryea, who is also from Ghana.

After thorough investigations over the last few months FIFA has finally declared their stand on this whole saga yesterday. Although Lamptey was found guilty Laryea has been exempted as the FIFA statement says,”All charges against the Ghanaian match official David Lionheart Nil Lartey Laryea, whose behaviour had also been the subject of investigations, were dismissed.”

Joseph Lamptey can now appeal to FIFA or Court of Arbitration for Sports for lightening or freeing him from the punishment as FIFA said,”Further information concerning the South Africa V Senegal match in question will be provided once the decision becomes final and binding.”

Lamptey who has been a seasoned match official and also was seen with the whistle in the mouth in the Rio Olympics has denied to give any reaction of his on this whole saga while being interrogated by the media.

Although FIFA has not clarified whether there was any connection of betting agencies or bookies behind this controversy as the investigation is yet to take its full shape but they told they have enough evidences to be found Lamptey guilty on this issue.

“Today there are many reasons to be happy about this decision-a decision that will be remembered as being significant but will also warn everybody that they are being watched. All cheating and stealing will be punished according to its gravity.”, said Abdoulaye Sow, the Vice-president of FSF to BBC.

The governing body of football has made their stand clear through the statement:”FIFA allows a zero tolerance policy on match manipulation and committed to protecting the integrity of football.”