A GHANAIAN football referee has been banned for life by Fifa for “match manipulation” following a dubious decision during a Bafana Bafana 2018 World Cup qualifier last November.
On Monday, Joseph Odartei Lamptey was found guilty of breaching the Fifa Disciplinary Code – article 69, paragraph 1 (unlawfully influencing match results) – during South Africa’s clash with Senegal at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on November 12.
Bafana Bafana were awarded a strange penalty in the 43rd minute against the Lions of Teranga, which Thulani Hlatshwayo converted to hand the hosts a 1-0 lead.
A cross from Keagan Dolly found the head of Eleazar Rodgers, who directed the ball towards goal. It struck the leg of Senegal centre back Kalidou Koulibaly, but referee Lamptey decided that it was a handball and awarded Bafana a penalty.
The Senegalese protested furiously, but Lamptey was unperturbed. It was a crucial moment in the match, as Bafana gained tremendous confidence from 1-0 advantage, and scored a second goal two minutes later through Thulani Serero.
Senegal’s Cheikh Ndoye pulled one back with 15 minutes left, but it was not enough to prevent a Bafana victory that put them on top of Group D at the time.
South Africa, who have four points, trail Burkina Faso on goal difference with four games remaining in the qualifying campaign – against Cape Verde Islands away (August 28) and home (September 2), Burkina Faso home (October 2) and Senegal away (November 6).
The 2018 Fifa World Cup takes place in Russia.
“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,” Fifa said in a statement.
“On the other hand, all charges against the Ghanaian match official David Lionheart Nii Lartey Laryea, whose behaviour had also been the subject of investigations, were dismissed by the Fifa Disciplinary Committee.
“Further information concerning the South Africa vs Senegal match in question will be provided once the decision becomes final and binding. Fifa follows a zero-tolerance policy on match manipulation and is committed to protecting the integrity of football.”