Referee Lamptey’s ban, a true State Of Affairs in Ghana

Bad officiating is considered one of the major stumbling blocks that has marred the progress of the beautiful Ghanaian play and this assertion has been illuminated by Referee Joseph Odartai Lamptey who has become a subject of ridicule and disgrace on the international stage.

The Ghanaian referee’s lifetime ban was upheld by the Court Arbitration for Sport after being found guilty of unlawfully influencing match results by FIFA. This has necessitated a replay of the World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Senegal to be played in November.

Lamptey is considered a top notch referee in Ghana but has been a subject of controversies in past and recent years.

In 2011, Lamptey was handed a lengthy six-month ban by CAF when he awarded a dubious goal to Esperance de Tunis in a CAF Champions League game against Egyptian giants Al Ahli.

He has also been involved in numerous controversial decision on the local scene which has marred his reputation as one of Ghana’s best.

Ghanaian referees have incessantly been criticized in their way of officiating, with a few of them being lauded in their style of handling matches.

This attitude of certain referees has made the Ghanaian Premier League (GPL) very unattractive to sponsors with many football enthusiasts trading the English Premier League for the GPL.

But it’s amazing how the Referees Association of Ghana (RAG) and Ghana Football Association (GFA) have not laid down procedures to critically access the performance of referees in the football matches with appropriate sanctions handed them when they found guilty.

Most Ghanaian Referee who are faulty in terms of interpreting the laws and rules of the game are taken very slightly with regards to the disciplinary measures meted out to them which has made them not restrain from unlawfully influencing match.

Of course in every human institution, people are prone to errors but the level of these errors makes it mind-boggling which upholds the rot of officiating in Ghana’s football despite the quality of talents who make the game very beautiful.

This assertion is evident in the case of referee Nuhu Liman , who has been suspended for the rest of the season by the Ghana Football Association after awarding a dubious penalty kick to Asante Kotoko in clash against NEA Salamina.

Countless of referees have suffered this setback but these precautionary measures has not improved the level of officiating in the various football leagues in the country.

We need to do more as a country to help the game thrive which includes improving the plight of referees who have suffered non payment of remuneration due them, their respective security as well as understanding and interpreting the laws and rules of the game.

Perhaps government intervention could be another option, with the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo, has made a major priority to check corrupt practices in country.

Nonetheless, local referees body are tasked with the responsibility of bringing up good referee who have been thoroughly examined with regards to the background and various imperative background checks.


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