Every fan has seen a bad call go against their team and wish that referee could be banned for life for making such an asinine decision. An African referee has been banned for life for his bad call in a World Cup Qualifying match.

FIFA banned referee Joseph Odartei Lamptey of Ghana for “influencing the result of a World Cup Qualifying match.” Lamptey ruled a handball on Senegal’s Kalidou Koulibaly even though the ball clearly hit Koulibaly’s leg. The call caused South Africa to score and win 2-1. You can see in the clip the ball gets nowhere near the hand but it was called a handball. And in a World Cup Qualifier featuring two teams who can realistically qualify, this may have cost Senegal a chance to go to the 2018 World Cup.

While it would be great to be able to ban referees for making colossal mistakes but there is a legit reason why Lamptey is banned.

While FIFA doesn’t go in detail, they did reveal that Lamptey was banned under “art. 69 par. 1” for influencing match results. This is usually done for anyone who is charged with match fixing whether it’s for gambling or for other purposes. It’s not revealed as to what info FIFA has on Lamptey but it must be something along those lines and that he made this call intentionally for South Africa to win if he is getting a lifetime ban. Usually, referees are demoted if they make a bad call, so this is way more serious than anyone is letting on.

African World Cup Qualifying starts up again in August. Burkina Faso and South Africa are tied for their group lead with four points. Senegal is third, a point behind after two of six matches. Only the group winner qualifies for the World Cup so you can easily see why this penalty call is a big deal. If that penalty wasn’t called, Burkina Faso would have four points, Senegal would have four and South Africa would have two. Not only does this make things tough for Senegal, it makes things tough for Burkina Faso and their qualification hopes. That’s why Lamptey is suspended for life.

[The Guardian]

About Phillip Bupp

News and soccer editor for The Comeback and I occasionally write for Awful Announcing and Freezing Cold Takes. I also do video highlight game coverage for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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