You might remember the story from a few weeks back. Two Nigerian soccer teams, both on the verge of promotion, suspiciously won the last game of their seasons by scores of 79-0 and 67-0. The players from all four teams involved in the games and the match officials have now received lifetime bans from the Nigerian Football Federation, according to BBC.
The Plateau United Feeders and Police Machine needed to edge each other in goal differential to get the promotion, and it seems that the match officials and opposing teams played along. All four clubs will be suspended for 10 years in addition to the lifetime bans of their players.
The Feeders scored 72 of their 79 goals in the second half. That’s just 45 minutes of play. One of their players scored 14 goals in the game, a number that entire teams very, very rarely come close to matching as a whole. Police Machine scored 61 of their 67 goals in the second half. At one point, they scored four goals in a minute.
When this story first came out, the NFF said that “anyone found to have played some role in this despicable matter would be severely dealt with.” I pictured harsher penalties than lifetime bans at the time, mostly because this happened right after a Brazilian ref stabbed a player to death for arguing a red card, but I suppose these punishments will do.
So to recap: Two teams were up for promotion. Only one would get that promotion. They each had one game left to play. They got their opponents to let them score an insane number of second half goals. The match officials ignored the blatant cheating. The teams actually thought they would get away with it and that their league’s governing body wouldn’t notice. Now they can’t play ever again.
Photo via AFP