Beleaguered Referee Reginald Lathbridge Apologizes After Lifetime Ban From GFA

Referee Reginald Lathbridge has rendered an apology following his lifetime ban by the Ghana Football Association on Tuesday.

Lathbridge was charged for bringing the game into disrepute following his mistake in the match involving Bechem United and Elmina Sharks last season.

He was found to have erred in his match report in the aftermath of the game between Elmina Sharks and Bechem United clash on match-day seven of last season’s Ghana Premier League.

Lathbridge wrongfully recorded a booking for Bechem United Joseph Amoah instead of Elmina Sharks Felix Addo, which made Amoah ineligible to feature against Hearts of Oak but the player did feature which renders him unqualified.

Surprisingly, Lathbridge after seven months was made to do the correction which has caused a foil with regards to the start of the 2017/18 Ghana Premier League as Great Olympics seek redress in the law courts.

Referee Reginald Lathbridge at his hearing at the Disciplinary Committee apologised to all stakeholders of the game and admitted the charges.

In an interview with the media, Lathbridge said, “I have been very honest in the issue at hand, Let us all be honest in our dealings, it could take you even a year to realize you made a mistake.”

“To err is human. I made a mistake after i realized it was creating a problem, I ask for forgiveness from God yet I have been punished. From now onwards I will walk as a free man.”

“Of all the referees in Ghana, when was the last time one face a ban or suspension.”

“If it is possible for a doctor to operate a patient and leave a scissor in his tummy and later realize what he has done, why cant i also do the same even if its a year or two,” he added.

His actions are held to have been in violation of Articles 22 and 35(7)(d) in the GFA General Regulations and other regulations in respect of this matter.

The Disciplinary Committee states that the importance of the Match Official’s Reports in football cannot be overemphasised in view of Article 85 of the GFA Disciplinary Code which presumes that the Referee’s Report is accurate and considered authoritative regarding matters on incidents that take place on the field of play and the far-reaching consequences any inaccuracy may lead to.

Full written Decision of the Disciplinary Committee to be delivered to parties.

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