There’s match fixing and then there’s MATCH FIXING. They don’t mess around over in Nigeria when it comes to this art. Recent games were fixed over in the African nation during a tournament and it resulted in the unheard of scores of 67-0 and 79-0. Of course, it takes two teams to properly fix matches like these and that’s why the Nigerian Football Federation has suspended four clubs while it investigates the ridiculous shenanigans.
The teams were playing in a tournament with the winner being rewarded with promotion into the country’s lowest-tier professional league, which is the third division of the Nationwide League. Two of the clubs, named the Plateau United Feeders and Police Machine each had one contest to go. Both of them were level on four points after winning their first games 2-0 and then playing to a 0-0 draw with each other.
The winner of the group would earn the promotion and that’s when the fun began. The Plateau United Feeders were leading Akurba FC 7-0 at half time while Police Machine were beating Babayaro FC 6-0 after 45 minutes. There certainly must have been something suspicious in place as Plateau United Feeders proceeded to hammer home 72 goals in the second half to win their match 79-0. This meant they scored a goal every 40 seconds.
Police Machine obviously heard about the scoring rampage and hit the back of the net 61 times during the final 45 minutes of their match to win 67-0. Perhaps they simply tired themselves out as they finished second place. Mike Umeh, the Nigerian Football Federation’s president stated, “This is a scandal of huge proportions. The four teams involved are suspended immediately and indefinitely, pending further sanctions. We will investigate this matter thoroughly and get to the bottom of it.”
In addition, the federation said the incidents were “A
mind-boggling show of shame. The teams involved, their players and officials,
match officials, tournament coordinator and anyone found to have played some
role in this despicable matter will be severely dealt with.”
I suppose the moral of the story is if you’re going to fix a match don’t make it so obvious.