FIFA bans referee for life for ‘match manipulation’

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Referee Joseph Lamptey of Ghana has been banned for life by FIFA for what the organization calls “match manipulation.”

Lamptey has been banned following an incident during South Africa’s 2-1 win over Senegal in a 2018 World Cup qualifier in November. Lamptey gave an incredibly dubious penalty against Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly for an alleged handball, but replays showed the ball wasn’t even close, hitting the Napoli defender on the knee.

With his suspension, the former referee is banned from “taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) at national and international level for life.”

Following the ruling, Lamptey can now appeal to FIFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Although Lamptey was charged, one of his assistants, David Laryea, also from Ghana, had charges against him dropped by FIFA’s disciplinary committee.

The decision to suspend Lamptey has been met with joy from the Senegalese side, who were left in third place in their World Cup qualifying group following the loss, with South Africa in second after two matches.

“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,” said Senegal Football Federation vice president Abdoulaye Sow.

“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.”

FIFA says it will give more details surrounding the Senegal-Ghana match “once the decision becomes final and binding.”