Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey has been banned for life by Fifa for what it calls “match manipulation”.The ban results from a penalty he awarded to South Africa in a 2-1 win over Senegal in a 2018 World Cup qualifier in November.He penalised Kalidou Koulibaly for handball, but replays showed the ball hit his knee.
After the decision, members in the sporting world have shared their opinion about the decision by FIFA. The general idea has been that the decision will tarnish the reputation of Ghana football but from Senegal, they are completely delighted with the outcome.
REFEREE JOE DEBRAH :
FIFA’s ruling on Joseph Lamptey is one of the saddest day in my life. He [Joseph Lamptey] is somebody that likes to listen to advice when he goes wrong. He is an immigration officer and I have known him for a long time and he is not that bossy person when he goes wrong. I don’t want to say that FIFA had it wrong because it is too early for us to say that and I am not ready to commit myself to defend what he did during the match because a lot of things went into this decision. It might not only be the penalty decision. For me he is our number one referee we have in Ghana and we the referee’s will support him in this difficult time but what I am seeing is that Ghanaian referees are in trial.We shouldn’t go back and list his bad records because it will hurt the person and besides, he has good records as well but I know his ban is a disgrace to the country but let’s know how to approach this issue.
MERCY TAGOE (Former Ghana Premier League referee ):
It’s a misfortune because to err is human so I was expecting that they will temper justice with mercy but its unfortunate that he is been banned. It’s really going to affect our Referees and tarnish the image of Ghana football ad refereeing as well and it will affect us in our selection to these international matches.When I was there, I managed to attend some international games but with development,if will affect every FIFA Referee we have in Ghana.
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. 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.
EDDIE DOKU (Chairman of the Referees Appointment Committee):
I just read the communique from Fifa and after reading it, I don’t think that I’m happy with the decision of Fifa to hand Joseph Lamptey a life ban. I’m not a lawyer but I know that you cannot punish someone twice for one offence and he accepted a three-month suspension earlier on by CAF so why another life ban? Is it because we are blacks? We have seen worse officiating in some of the European and FIFA competitions but no referee was given a life ban. I don’t think it’s the best.