South Africa's World Cup reputation takes strain with banning of referee Joseph Lamptey for handling of Bafana's win over Senegal


In banning Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey for life, world football’s governing body said the outcome of the 2-1 home win for South Africa in November had been contrived.

The official was found guilty of unlawfully influencing the match result after handing South Africa a soft penalty just before half-time and then allowing them a second goal in controversial circumstances from a quickly taken free-kick soon thereafter in a qualifying match for the 2018 finals in Russia.

Just who and how Lamptey was influenced to help South Africa win the match was not made clear in a FIFA statement on Monday but the revelation follows accusations South Africa paid a $10-million bribe to help secure the rights to host the 2010 World Cup and, also, were duped by an Asian betting syndicate before the tournament.

FIFA said on Monday: “Further information concerning the South Africa v. Senegal match in question will be provided once the decision becomes final and binding,” leaving tantalisingly little information about the allegations but it followed irregular betting activity.

The South African Football Association did not respond on Monday to queries about what it knew about the match fixing allegations.

Two years ago US prosecutors said a payment of $10 million to former FIFA vice president Jack Warner during South Africa’s successful bid for the 2010 World Cup was a bribe.

The South African government in 2007 approved a $10 million project to support the African diaspora in Caribbean countries and FIFA paid the money, taken from a budget allocated to South Africa for hosting costs, over to Warner, who controlled significant block of votes, but instead of it being used for its intended purpose it was pocketed by Warner and other CONCACAF members in return for their votes.

South Africa vehemently denied the claim but promises from its government to engage with FIFA and clear up the matter have not been fulfilled.

Unnamed South African officials also feature in U.S. court papers around FIFA corruption with the indictment giving salacious detail of suitcases of money being paid over to Warner’s son in a Paris hotel room. But the officials have not yet been named in court.

A post-2010 World Cup investigation also revealed that the outcome of several of South Africa’s warm-up friendlies ahead of the tournament were manipulated as naive SAFA officials were duped into using referees paid by a Singapore-based betting syndicate.

Several SAFA officials, including former president Kirsten Nemtandani, have since been banned by FIFA over the affair.