World Cup Qualifiers

WCQ: Ghana And South Africa Bound By Bannable Referees

TOPSHOT - Uganda's forward Muhammad Shaban (R) challenges Ghana's defender John Boye during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group D football match between Ghana and Uganda in Port-Gentil on January 17, 2017. / AFP / Justin TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
WCQ: Ghana And South Africa Bound By Bannable Referees

Ghana and South Africa are two footballing nations bound by one fact and one fact alone: they have referees worthy of being banned from football for life worldwide. In Ghana, the land of the Black Stars, it’s Joseph Lamptey who has the red letter on his chest. In South Africa, his counterpart is Daniel Bennett.

In the fourth minute of second half stoppage time, Daniel Amartey’s attempt on goal was spilled by Ugandan goalkeeper Denis Onyango, Thomas Partey’s follow-up would have been the winner but linesman El Fadil Mohamed ruled the goal out due to offsides. But Partey was onside while taking the attempt.

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This could be seen as payback for South Africa being forced to replay their match against Senegal earlier in the African qualifiers due to a phantom call against Senegal that gave Bafana Bafana the victory only to have it overturned weeks later by the power brokers of FIFA in Zurich. A similar outcome could take place if Ghana’s protest is upheld and Bennett is banned from football for life. Here is the text of the protest.

“The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has lodged a protest with FIFA over the performance of referee Daniel Bennett and his assistants Eldrick Adelaide and Steve Marie during the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Uganda on Saturday. The GFA filed the protest to football’s world governing body, FIFA, immediately after the match at the Mandela National Stadium in Kampala. Mr. Bennett and assistants denied Ghana a perfect goal in the 93rd minute with television replays showing that it was a perfect goal. The GFA respectfully asked FIFA to consider the possibility of a replay in order to serve the ends of justice without fear or favour.”

If FIFA are to play the cards right, they will wait for the result between Egypt and Congo before considering a replay, meaning that the African qualifiers will go into November with up to two replay matches taking place. As it stands, Ghana are eliminated as well as South Africa, two proud nations now bound by the stain of compromised referees with an intention to bring this sport into disrepute.

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World Cup Qualifiers

Jo-Ryan Salazar is a writer for The Stoppage Time, a soccer blog powered by Azteca Soccer. A supporter of the Los Angeles Galaxy since 1996 and a committed supporter since 2002, Jo-Ryan also follows Chelsea FC, Melbourne Victory, FC Tokyo and Paris Saint-Germain. Apart from soccer, Jo-Ryan is an administrative assistant for a local nonprofit in Long Beach, California and also does photography, photo-editing and fictional writing.

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