Sports News of Saturday, 7 October 2017
South African referee Daniel Bennett has come under intense scrutiny following what many describe as his low-par and suspicious performance in Ghana’s goalless draw game against the Cranes of Uganda in Kampala.
The ‘dubious’ officiating by Daniel Bennett, and his assistants, Eldrick Adelaide and Steve Marie has led to calls, especially on social media for the referee to be investigated and possibly banned for robbing the Black Stars a chance to win this game and also reach the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Ghana had two legitimate goals disallowed and had a strong penalty appeal waved away by the referee and his assistants in Kampala.
Ghana thought they had scored in the dying seconds only for the strike to be ruled off-side, with the Ghana players surrounding the match officials after the final whistle.
This is not the first time referee Daniel Bennet has been at the centre of controversy. Indeed it would be recalled that in 2013, during the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, Bennet was subjected to abuse in the game between Togo and Tunisia.
On that night in Mbombela, Bennett denied Tunisia a clear penalty when Vicent Bossnou clattered through the back of Oussama Darragi. He ignored two decent Togolese shouts and then waved play on when Ben Cherifa blatantly tripped Adebayor as the Tottenham forward wandered round him. When the 5ft 10in Serge Akakpo chopped down Youssef Msakhni, he booked the 6ft 5in Nibombe, who had been about 10 yards from the incident. And then, with 13 minutes remaining, he awarded a penalty to Tunisia as Saber Khalifa tumbled in the vicinity of Nibombe.
In the aftermath of that Togo vs Tunisia Cup of Nations game, this is how the UK Guardian and its reporter, Johnathan Wilson captured Bennet’s performance.
“When we talk of bad refereeing performances we usually mean two or three bad decisions plus a couple of borderline ones he got wrong; Bennett made at least four absolute howlers.”
This year, Ghanaian referee Joseph Odartei Lamptey was slapped with a lifetime ban by FIFA due to match manipulation.
The 43-year-old was found guilty for awarding a controversial penalty to South Africa in their 2-1 win over Senegal in the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifiers at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.
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. FIFA later declared that the game will be replayed in November 2017.
Ghanaians want the same punishment meted out to Daniel Bennett and if possible a replay ordered.
Ghana’s draw with Uganda leaves Egypt top of Group E with nine points, Uganda moved to eight points and Ghana six.
Watch the video below