Ghanaian referee, Joseph Odartey Lamptey, has finally spoken about his error in his handling of the South Africa vs Senegal match in the 2018 World Cup qualifier in 2016 which led to FIFA banning for life and calling for a replay of the match.
He awarded a first half penalty to South Africa despite replays showing that the ball clearly touched the thigh of Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly.
The Senegalese authorities complained to the Confederation of African Football and that led to Lamptey getting banned for three months.
The matter got to FIFA and the entity handed Lamptey lifetime ban after its investigations said that Lamptey had “manipulated” the match.
In an interview with the Senegal News Agency or L’Agence de presse sénégalaise and published by Afrik Foot, Lamptey said that the error was genuine and he was not trying to favour the South Africans in any way or form.
“I deeply love Senegal. I can tell you that I felt deep pain after having done such an injustice against that country. I really love your country. My mistake was never intentional. That happens to you in your line of work as a journalist.
Right or wrong? It is truly a human error but never did I want to do something against Senegal or its interests. When I came back from the match in South Africa, my wife kept asking me what I had done to the Senegalese people. I told her so many times that it was a huge error I made against a country I adore.”
The replay of the match between South Africa and Senegal will be played in November this year.
Even though, South African football officials were initially not comfortable with the idea, they later accepted the idea and FIFA has gone to pay an amount of USD 380,000 to the South African Football Association to cover the cost of the first match played in 2016.