FIFA investigators have revealed that disgraced Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey had a history of match-fixing before his luck ran out during a 2018 World Cup qualifying match between South Africa and Senegal.
Lamptey was banned for life after his decisions aided South Africa to a 2-1 win over Senegal and those decisions which included the award of a non-existent penalty to the home side prompted world football’s governing body, FIFA, to order for a replay.
Senegal thereafter won the replay 2-0 to secure a spot at this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Joseph Lamptey was linked to “numerous publicly documented scandals” in the previous six years leading up to the qualifying clash between South Africa and Senegal.
According to FIFA investigators, he had “a history of being suspended for poor performances” before he was slapped with a life ban in addition to his record of awarding more penalties than other African referees of his grade.
Referees normally use the award of penalty kicks after handball incidents or non-existent fouls as a common match-fixing tactic to boost betting syndicates cash in bets on the number of goals scored.
Details about the exploits of Joseph Lamptey was revealed in a document written by investigators and published by FIFA on Monday.
The document read in part that: “This conduct — and its repeated occurrence — establishes a clear and consistent pattern behaviour for matches refereed by Mr. Lamptey.”
Despite his suspicious handling of games, the Ghanaian referee remained on the list of referees eligible for World Cup qualifying duty as contained on FIFA’s international list requiring yearly approval, and also by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Ghana’s soccer federation.
FIFA initially didn’t respond to questions of how a suspicious referee like Joseph Lamptey handled a significant match like the 2018 World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Senegal in 2016.
One of the six ‘suspicious’ matches handled by Lamptey include Portugal’s 2-2 international friendly draw in Gabon, which included three goals from the penalty spot.
The referee’s history is detailed in evidence to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), whose detailed verdict to point out why it dismissed his appeal in August 2017 has now been made public by world football’s governing body, FIFA.