FIFA Gives Ghanaian Referee Life Ban For Errors In South Africa-Senegal Qualifier
FIFA said that it banned Joseph Lamptey for life after the Ghanaian referee took decisions during a 2018 World Cup qualifier "to make certain bets successful," according to Piers Edwards of the BBC. Lamptey was sanctioned after notable errors in South Africa's 2-1 win over Senegal in '16. FIFA: "He [took] intentional decisions with the sole purpose of facilitating a minimum number of goals to make certain bets successful." The organization "believes the bets related to the game featuring at least two goals." FIFA "has never given extensive details of the case before," but said that it decided to do so now because of "its complex nature and various misconceptions." It added, "Suspicious betting activities reached their climax precisely when Lamptey took the incorrect refereeing decision between the 40th minute and the end of the first half" (BBC, 1/15).
SURPASSING 3 MILLION: Since Dec. 5, 3.14 million tickets have been requested for the 2018 World Cup. The current sales window will run through Jan. 31. So far, most of the applications have come from Russia, with fans from Germany, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, the U.S., Spain, Poland and China representing the top 10 countries from abroad. Overall, int'l demand accounts for 38% (FIFA).