Banned Ghanaian ref helped betting syndicate, FIFA reveals

FIFA says it banned Joseph Lamptey for life after the Ghanaian referee took decisions during a 2018 World Cup tie ‘to make certain bets successful.’

Lamptey was sanctioned after notable errors in South Africa’s 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Senegal in 2016. “He (took) intentional decisions with the sole purpose of facilitating a minimum number of goals to make certain bets successful,” said Fifa.

Fifa believes the bets related to the game featuring at least two goals.

Joseph Lamptey

Football’s world governing body has never given extensive details of the case before but says it decided to do so because of ‘its complex nature and various misconceptions.’

The game in Polokwane featured a contentious penalty converted by South Africa after 43 minutes when a Senegalese defender was adjudged to have handled the ball, despite replays showing it had hit Kalidou Koulibaly’s knee.

Fifa also believes Lamptey was at fault for South Africa’s second goal just two minutes later, stating that the Ghanaian ‘clearly took two wrong decisions, which led to two goals being scored by South Africa.’

“Suspicious betting activities reached their climax precisely when Lamptey took the incorrect refereeing decision between the 40th minute and the end of the first half,” added the Zurich-based organisation in a statement.

Fifa said it was alerted to possible match manipulation by five different betting monitoring companies who ‘independently and simultaneously reported’ that irregular betting activities had taken place.

Lamptey appealed his ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport which ruled – in August 2017 – that Fifa’s sanction was appropriate prior to notifying the various parties of its decision last month.