Match-fixing scars South African football again as FIFA bans Ghanaian ref Lamptey

March 21 – South African football has been plunged into yet another scandal after Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey was banned for life by FIFA for “match manipulation”.

The ban results from a penalty he awarded to South Africa in a 2-1 win over over Senegal in a 2018 World Cup qualifier in November. Kalidou Koulibaly was penalised for handball but replays showed the ball hit his knee. Lamptey then allowed a second goal in controversial circumstances.

FIFA said it would provide more details “once the decision becomes final and binding”.

Lamptey is one of Africa’s most experienced officials having taken part in the Rio Olympics last year. One of assistants, David Laryea, also from Ghana, had charges against him dismissed by FIFA’s disciplinary committee.

The win for South Africa left them in second place in the four-team group after two matches, with Senegal in third.

The Senegal Football Federation (FSF), who made the complaint to FIFA over Lamptey,  said the ruling should be noted across the sport.

“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,” FSF vice-president Abdoulaye Sow told the BBC. “All cheating and stealing will be punished according to its gravity.”

“FIFA has clearly struck a big blow and has promised in its decision to talk again about the match when the decision is final and binding.”

South Africa is still reeling from an investigation which discovered that several pre-2010 World Cup friendlies were fixed. Several high-ranking African officials were banned by FIFA over the affair.

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