Joseph Lamptey: Facts About FIFA’s Life Ban on Ghanaian Referee Over Match Manipulation

World football governing body FIFA has confirmed the life ban of Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey. The Ghanaian referee who joined FIFA’s list of international referees in 2005, was banned for life after he was found guilty of match manipulation.

The said match was the 2018 World Cup qualifier clash between the Bafana Bafana of South Africa and the Terenga Lions of Senegal, played in November 2016. According to FIFA, Joseph Lamptey was found guilty of unlawfully influencing a match result following South Africa’s 2-1 win over Senegal in November in African Group D.

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According to a statement released by FIFA on their official website, Lamptey “was found guilty of breaching art. 69 par. 1 (unlawfully influencing match results) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia qualifying match between South Africa and Senegal on 12 November 2016.”

The Controversial Clash

The 2018 World cup qualifier clash between visiting Senegal and South Africa’s Bafana Bafana, saw an intense tussle for the lead between the two sides.

Senegal who were very popular at the beginning of the first half, were thrown off balance at the 43rd minute, following Joseph Lamptey’s controversial decision; when he awarded a clearly doubtful and suspicious penalty.

42-year-old Joseph Lamptey gave a penalty for a non-existent handball against Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly. The dubious move was confirmed, when replays clearly showed that the ball struck Koulibaly’s knee and then dropped to the ground.

Bafana Bafana’s second goal by Thulani Serero three minutes later, saw the home team beat Senegal 2-1. South Africa is now in second place in the four-team group after two matches. Senegal is third, with only the group winner advancing to play in Russia.

See video of wrong penalty that proved Lamptey’s match manipulation

Lamptey Sanctioned 

The controversial penalty gave rise to massive mixed reactions on the media. This was after many video angles showed that the incident was clearly not a penalty. The move which was described as a glaring bias, attracted tons of criticisms against the Ghanaian referee, as well as calls for proper sanction for the act.

Senegal had petitioned the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and copied FIFA, insisting the referee manipulated the game for the home side. Following FIFA’s investigation into the incident, the Ghanaian official’s career came to an end, as the world football governing body chose a very drastic way to sanction the embattled referee.

As a way of sanctioning the Ghanaian, CAF suspended him for three months. However, upon getting close to the end of the three months ban, FIFA landed him a life ban, from officiating at any level of football. This ban simply means that referee Joseph Lamptey will no longer function at any official football match nationally or internationally for the rest of his life, unless FIFA rescinds its decision.

With regards to the controversial World Cup qualifier match, FIFA did not say whether the result would stand or whether it would order a replay. FIFA also declined to give more details of why its disciplinary panel imposed a life ban on the referee.

Football stakeholders have continue to dig into the matter to find possible motivating factors behind the unruly act exhibited by the Ghanaian referee. Regarding the possible motive for the partiality, FIFA did not say if a betting scam was the reason suspected for the referee’s decision to award the penalty to South Africa. This therefore leaves uncertain, Lamptey’s actual reason for influencing the match result.

FIFA’s ban on the Ghanaian referee goes to show its profound dedication towards combating match manipulations, doping fraud, as well as other unethical practices existent in the world of football.