It is becoming increasingly clear that the Soccer or Football fraternity in Ghana is going through trying moments that is unprecedented in the nation.

Apart from the life ban placed on our own Joseph Lamptey by the Federation of International Football Association [FIFA] some other football administrators from Ghana have fallen foul of the laws of FIFA. To deal with the issues involved the Ghana Football Association has a duty set the stage to sensitize our match officials and administrators to know how to conduct themselves in and outside Ghana.

As known the world over Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey has been banned for life by Fifa for what it calls “match manipulation”. The ban resulted from a penalty he awarded to South Africa in a 2-1 win over Senegal in a 2018 World Cup qualifier in November.
He penalized Kalidou Koulibaly for handball, but replays showed the ball hit his knee.

After the decision, members in the sporting world have shared their opinions about the decision by FIFA. The general idea has been that the decision will tarnish the reputation of Ghana football but from Senegal, they are completely delighted with the outcome asking for a replay of the match with south Africa.

According to referee Joe Debrah, ‘FIFA’s ruling on Joseph Lamptey is one of the saddest thing in my life. He [Joseph Lamptey] is somebody who listens to advice. He is an immigration officer who is not that bossy. I don’t want to say that FIFA had it wrong because it is too early to say that and I am not ready to commit myself to defend what he did during the match because a lot of things might have gone into this decision. For me he is our number one referee in Ghana and we the referees will support him in this difficult times but it seems that Ghanaian referees are on trial’.

Mercy Tagoe Former Ghana Premier League referee on her part said It’s a misfortune because to err is human so I was expecting that they will temper justice with mercy but it’s unfortunate that he has been banned. It’s really going to affect our Referees and tarnish the image of Ghana football.

Eddie Doku Chairman of the Referees Appointment Committee reacted saying ‘I just read the communique from Fifa and after reading it, I don’t think that I’m happy with the decision of Fifa to hand Joseph Lamptey a life ban. I’m not a lawyer but I know that you cannot punish someone twice for one offence and he accepted a three-month suspension earlier on by CAF so why another life ban? Is it because we are blacks? We have seen worse officiating in some of the European and FIFA competitions but no referee was given a life ban. I don’t think it’s the best’

According to senior officials of Senegalese Football Association, there are many reasons to be happy about this decision – a decision that will be remembered as being significant but will also warn everybody that they are being watched. All cheating and stealing will be punished according to its gravity. Fifa has clearly struck a big blow and has promised in its decision to talk again about the match when the decision is final and binding.

We in Ghana are worried about the ban on Joseph Lamtey because apart from being our number one football referee he has officiated many high profile football matches. This action taken by FIFA might affect his reputation and that of Ghana with the added danger of up and coming Ghanaian referees being rejected
Fortunately, Joseph Lamptey has lodged an appeal with Fifa’s disciplinary committee to consider lifting the ban on him. He is right and it is the prayer of all well-meaning people that having been suspended for six months already the ban must be lifted for him to continue his good job for they must know that’ to err is human, to forgive divine ‘

While fighting over the ban on Joseph Lamptey the nation has again been hit by suspension of two officials of Ghana Football Association for sexual harassment in faraway Papua New Guinea. They are Isaac Addo, the acting FA General Secretary, and Nanabanyin Eyison, a member of the GFA’s Executive Committee. They got into trouble for what was supposed to be harmless and genuine quest for information from some ladies. The two accused FA officials have also been barred by FIFA’s confidentiality clause, on the Code of Conduct, from commenting publicly on the issue until a finality has been brought to the matter.
They have, however, appointed attorneys who, at the moment, are handling the case in Zurich, headquarters of FIFA, to overturn the suspensions. They are battling to clear their names of charges of sexual harassment brought against them by the Ethics Committee of FIFA, following protests from two liaison officers during a workshop for the 2016 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup (WWC).
Coach JE Sarpong is also worried over the rate at which veteran coaches are passing on. Apart from the ban and suspension of football administrators the nation has been thrown into a state of fear and mourning over the deaths of many experienced football coaches.
Coach JE Sarpong has indicated that The rate at which very experienced Ghanaian coaches are passing on to glory is worrying, According to him, the nation at the moment needs these experienced coaches to impart their knowledge of football to up-and-coming.

The country on Sunday was hit with the death of Coach Sam Arday followed by Herbert Addo with. Other coaching legends who have passed on recently are CK Gyamfi, EK Afranie, and Cecil Jones Attuquayefio, Aggrey Fynn and Osam Duodu

Mr. Sarpong said: “I must say it’s very alarming the way our legends are dying. It is worrying for all of us and something must be done about it.

“It is a worrying situation because we have youthful coaches coming up and who would learn from them. With the death of our legends, where will they go to learn coaching and tap into rich experience and expertise?”

By Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai