Caf sus­pend 2 ref­er­ees, lines­man

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

CAIRO — Two ref­er­ees and one lines­man have been sus­pended for three months and pub­licly crit­i­cised by African soccer’s gov­ern­ing body while an­other has been warned, fol­low­ing their per­for­mances in re­cent World Cup qual­i­fiers.

Ghana­ian Joseph Lamptey was sus­pended af­ter the Con­fed­er­a­tion of African Football (Caf) said he wrongly awarded South Africa a penalty in their 2-1 win over Sene­gal on Novem­ber 12.

Kenya’s Davies Omweno was also barred for his per­for­mance in Tu­nisia’s 1-0 win over Libya and his as­sis­tant Berhe O’Michael of Eritrea was banned af­ter Caf said he had de­nied Libya a valid goal by wav­ing for off­side.

Caf ’s public sham­ing of the match of­fi­cials is highly un­usual in in­ter­na­tional soccer.

World gov­ern­ing body Fifa and its Euro­pean coun­ter­part Uefa, for ex­am­ple, main­tain poli­cies of never com­ment­ing pub­licly on the per­for­mances of

SOUTH Africa’s cap­tain Faf du Plessis has been found guilty of ball-tam­per­ing and fined his en­tire match fee from the Ho­bart Test, but will be free to play in Ade­laide this week.

The charge, laid by ICC chief ex­ec­u­tive David Richard­son, re­lated to clause 2.2.9 of the ICC’s Code of Con­duct, which deals with “chang­ing the con­di­tion of the ball” in breach of the Laws of Cricket. The Laws of Cricket, in turn, al­low that play­ers may “pol­ish the ball pro­vided that no ar­ti­fi­cial sub­stance is used and that such pol­ish­ing wastes no time”.

In lay­ing the charge, the ICC had said that “TV footage ap­peared to show du Plessis ap­ply­ing saliva and residue from a mint or sweet, an ar­ti­fi­cial sub­stance, to the ball in an at­tempt to change its con­di­tion” dur­ing the Ho­bart Test. Du Plessis pleaded not guilty to the charge and faced a lengthy hear­ing be­fore ICC match ref­eree Andy Py­croft in Ade­laide yes­ter­day.

Yes­ter­day, the ICC said in a state­ment: “The de­ci­sion was based on the ev­i­dence given from the um­pires, who con­firmed that had they seen the in­ci­dent they would have taken ac­tion im­me­di­ately, and from Mr Stephen­son [MCC head of cricket John Stephen­son], who con­firmed the view of MCC that the tele­vi­sion footage showed an ar­ti­fi­cial sub­stance be­ing trans­ferred to the ball.”

In ad­di­tion to the fine, three de­merit points have been added to the dis­ci­plinary record of du Plessis for what was deemed a first of­fence. If du Plessis reaches four or more de­merit points within a twoyear pe­riod, they will be con­verted into sus­pen­sion points and he would face a ban.

Cricket South Africa has con­firmed that du Plessis, who had been rep­re­sented by CSA’s le­gal coun­sel via tele­con­fer­ence, would ap­peal the ver­dict. He has 48 hours from the time of re­ceipt of the writ­ten de­ci­sion to lodge his ob­jec­tions.

An ap­peal would re­quire the mat­ter to be heard from the be­gin­ning by a ju­di­cial com­mis­sioner, who can then in­crease, de­crease or amend the sanc­tion in ac­cor­dance with the pun­ish­ments for the par­tic­u­lar breach.

The max­i­mum penalty for a level 2 breach is a 100 per­cent match fee fine and two sus­pen­sion points, which equates to be­ing banned for one Test. In essence, du Plessis would there­fore be risk­ing a ban by at­tempt­ing to clear his name.

Du Plessis’ sto­icism in his own in­no­cence has echoed around the South African squad all week. Yes­ter­day, coach Rus­sell Domingo con­firmed, prior to the hear­ing, that the en­tire tour­ing party was “stand­ing by our cap­tain.” The squad was at the Ade­laide Oval for the full du­ra­tion of du Plessis’ ref­er­ees and lines­men.

Caf, on the other hand, said that Lamptey was guilty of “poor per­for­mance” in his match and “awarded a wrong penalty for hand­ball de­spite the fact that the ball never touched the hand of the player”.

Lamptey pre­vi­ously served a six-month ban for wrongly award­ing a goal dur­ing a Caf Cham­pi­ons League semi-fi­nal in 2010.

Omweno was also crit­i­cised for a “poor per­for­mance” which Caf said in­cluded “wrong po­si­tion­ing and move­ment, in­cor­rect iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of fouls and fail­ure to ad­min­is­ter some dis­ci­plinary sanc­tions”.

His as­sis­tant O’Michael was barred for “off­side de­ci­sions in­clud­ing one deny­ing a valid goal by Libya”.

The other lines­man in the match, Rwanda’s Theo­gene Ndag­i­ji­mana, was given a warn­ing. Caf said he “missed mul­ti­ple ba­sic off­side de­ci­sions which de­nied teams promis­ing at­tacks”. — Reuters

Faf du Plessis

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