Disgraced Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey still under the spotlight

Published on: 08 September 2017

Fifa have decreed that the World Cup Qualifier (WCQ) between South Africa and Senegal be replayed during the next “window” in November 2017.

This is exactly one year after the game was played in Polokwane, South Africa. It was won by South Africa with a late and somewhat controversial penalty given to Bafana Bafana.

It was also three very valuable points to the home side in their quest to make it to Moscow in 2018.

However, the Senegalese FA lodged a protest and, following an investigation, the referee, Joseph Lamptey from Ghana, was banned for life.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decided to uphold the lifetime ban on the referee for “match manipulation”, which was previously imposed by the Fifa Disciplinary and Appeal Committees.

Ghana refereeing officials labelled the ban on their referee “harsh”, believing him to have made a genuine error.

The South African Football Association (SafaA) said they are studying the contents of the report and will issue a statement on their intentions to challenge the decision.

Safa also said that they wished to categorically deny any involvement in any wrongdoing related to the actions of the match official as stated in the Fifa report.

As is the case with such incidents, there are more questions than answers.

For example:

  • What evidence does Fifa have to suggest that the referee “manipulated” the game?
  • What reason or reasons would a referee have to “manipulate” a game?
  • Was he asked by some third party to influence the outcome of the game and for what reason?

Now I’m not privy to any information good, bad, or indifferent with regards to this case. I have no axe to grind with either party, nor do I care which side wins so long as the game is played according to the Fifa Laws of the Game.

My real concern is the match officials and their alleged wrongdoing, which saw the governing body impose a lifetime ban on the man-in-the-middle.

The evidence must be very strong for them to take such drastic action and I hope a final report will be released which will point the finger at the guilty parties.

Contract law has three components – offer, acceptance, and consideration (money).

Was an offer made by some outside source to have the game “manipulated? If so, then by whom? Because I can’t see any reason for a referee to try and influence the outcome of a match just for the hell of it.

What would be the reason? What would be his motivation for seeing one side or the other win? He’s from a neutral country? His home nation is not in the same group as these two countries. He’s a fully-fledged international referee, not some rookie who doesn’t know what he’s doing.

There are certainly many questions that need to be answered, and answered soon, for the good of the game

If the referee is corrupt then by all means ban him for life, but if other outside sources are involved then let them be exposed as well and not heap all the blame and responsibility on the referee

Happy whistling

By Dr Errol Sweeney