January 12 – Referees in African international matches are to be paid directly by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) instead of national associations in the wake of Ghanaian official Joseph Lamptey’s (pictured) life ban for match-fixing.
CAF has admitted that the previous arrangement created an “ethical challenge” and that the new system not only “reduces the financial burden on national associations” but also “removes the suspicion perceived between national associations and the referees.”
Lamptey was banned by FIFA last September after he was found guilty of “unlawfully influencing (a) match result” when he incorrectly awarded hosts South Africa a penalty against Senegal in a World Cup qualifier in November 2016. South Africa won the game 2-1 but a rematch was ordered, won 2-0 by Senegal who qualified for this summer’s World Cup finals.
The latest move by the regime of CAF president Ahmad Ahmad, announced following a meeting of the CAF executive committee, is aimed at eliminating contact between match officials and host nations before fixtures which has been the cause of considerable suspicion in Africa.
It is the second time in a month that CAF has taken action to minimise the threat of corruption in refereeing after it removed its Best Referee in Africa award in December.
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