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Ghanaian Referee Suspended By Caf For Awarding a Controversial Penalty

Caf has slapped a three-month ban on Ghanaian center referee Joseph Odartei Lamptey for his controversial penalty to South Africa in their Fifa 2018 World Cup qualifier against Senegal on November 12 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.
Lamptey awarded a penalty to Bafana Bafana converted by Thulani Hlatshwayo in the 43rd minute before Thulani Serero doubled the home side’s lead, a moment that Senegal coach Aliou Cisse admitted could have distracted his players.
The 42-year old Lamptey will as a result miss out on the upcoming Afcon 2017 where he was lined up to officiate at the prestigious continental showpiece that attracts the best sides in Africa.

The Senegalese Football Federation (FSF) sent a letter of protest to CAF asking them to investigate the matter and now claim that Lamptey has received a suspension that will keep him out of the Nations Cup finals.
"Following the dispute and protest letter from the FSF on the refereeing of the match between South Africa and Senegal, CAF informs that its Referee Commission has decided to suspend referee Lamptey for three months. The latter being thus excluded from the next African Nations Cup in Gabon, because of his poor performance,” the FSF said in a statement.
A letter from the Senegalese federation that was released at the weekend claimed “the FSF noticed throughout the match scandalous refereeing decisions made for the benefit of the host team, which had direct consequences on the final score of the match, and the weakening of our position in the classification for the qualification for the World Cup".
"In addition, there were many serious foul suffered by our players which went unsanctioned as well as non-existent offside decisions against us. The referee had, against all expectations, tipped the game firmly in favour of the South African team, particularly the dubious decisions with which they got their two goals,” said the FSF’s letter.
Senegal said referee Lamptey’s decision to give the penalty came "in spite of our players’ protests and, more seriously, by over-ruling the better-placed assistant referee who had indicated a corner that the South African players were eager to go and take”.
The FSF also claimed South Africa's second goal from Thulani Serero was invalid as Bafana played while the referee had stopped the game for “an imaginary free-kick and was giving a verbal to the Senegalese defensive midfielder Idrissa Gana Guèye and captain Cheikhou Kouyaté”.

This is not the first time that Lamptey has been involved in contentious decisions that have forced action from the continental governing body.
In this particular case, the Senegalese Football Federation (FSF) lodged a formal complaint to Caf after the unfortunate incident saw the Lions of Teranga lose 2-1 to South Africa.
Caf has stated that Lamptey has been suspended for “poor performance” which entailed “awarding a wrong penalty for a handball despite the fact that the ball never touched the hand of the player..
In 2010, he was suspended for six months for controversial decisions in the Caf Champions League semifinal tie between Egyptian giants Al Ahly and Esperance of Tunisia when he allowed a handball goal by Nigerian forward Michael Eneramo to stand in favour of the latter.
Meanwhile, Eritrean Berhe O’Michael has also been suspended for three months for poor performance that included offside decisions that included one that denied a valid goal by Libya.
Kenyan Davies Ogenche Omweno, who also officiated the same match has been given a three month suspension for poor performance that included wrong positioning and movement, incorrect identification of fouls and failure to administer some disciplinary sanctions.
In the same match, Rwandan Theogene Ndagijimana has been warned for poor performance because of missing multiple basic offside which denied teams’ promising attacks.

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