CAF to directly pay referees in international matches

Referees in African international matches will now be paid directly by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in the wake of Ghanaian official Joseph Lamptey's life ban.

Previously, referees were paid by the host nation, which CAF has now admitted created an "ethical challenge."

Lamptey was banned by FIFA last September after he was found guilty of "unlawfully influencing (a) match result" when he incorrectly awarded hosts South Africa a penalty against Senegal in a World Cup qualifier in November 2016.

A CAF statement on Wednesday, following the confederation's executive committee meeting in Morocco, read: "Effective 2018, indemnities of referees designated for CAF matches will be paid directly by CAF.

"This historic decision is a materialisation of a campaign promise by the CAF President (Ahmad Ahmad).

"(Until) now, the regulations required host associations to pay these indemnities. The decision reduces the financial burden on national associations and also eliminates an ethical challenge because it removes the suspicion perceived between national associations and the referees."

South Africa won the original game against Senegal 2-1 but the teams were ordered to replay the match following Lamptey's ban. Senegal won the replayed game 2-0 to qualify for this summer's finals at their opponents' expense.