If one own goal in a game is misfortune and two is carelessness, then I’m not exactly sure how to explain 41 goals in a game, well, the scandal sums it up.
South African team Nsami Mighty Birds lost a 59-1 game to Matiyasi FC in South Africa’s fourth division last month in which most of the goals were scored by the losing team.
They also lost four players to red cards. end the game with just seven men, none of whom seem like the most subtle approach to match-fixing.
Matiyasi was fighting the Shivulani Dangerous Tigers for the title when the Tigers beat the Kotoko Happy Boys by an impressive score of 33-1, before third-place Nsami got 59, presumably both losing sides scored to make it believable.
At the start of the season games ended 2-2 and 2-1, you would be very upset if you only saw four or three goals in a match and missed the 60 and 34 goal thrillers in May.
Now, all four teams have been banned, meaning fourth-placed Gawula Classic has won the title.
“Our investigation found that Matiyasi and Nsami wanted to prevent Shivulani from overcoming the trunk, so they agreed to fix the match to prevent that from happening,” Mopani region president Vincent Ramphago told BBC Sport.
“What is sad is that there are young players involved because the competition rules stipulate that each team must field at least five players under the age of 21.
“Our main goal in organizing leagues is to ensure that young players become potential future Bafana Bafana players.
“When we investigated, we found that some of Matiyasi’s goals weren’t even [properly registered] because the referee was unable to interpret his report.
“We found that the referee was just writing – ‘player number 2 scored 10 goals, player number 5 scored 20 goals’ and so on – but there were 41 own goals, so how did they record that?”
Clubs have been banned for life, while club officials have been banned for between five and eight years and referees are not allowed to work in football for 10 seasons.
Nsami wasn’t the only one to end the game four players short, as Ramphago revealed, with the Kotoko players too tired to continue.
“Our investigation found that Matiyasi and Nsami wanted to prevent Shivulani from overcoming the trunk, so they agreed to fix the match to prevent that from happening,” the president added.
“After hearing that Matiyasi was winning 22-0 at half-time, Shivulani plotted to get the Kotoko Happy Boys players off the field. The players who left said they were tired of leaving their team with just seven players.
“Meanwhile, at Matiyasi’s game, the referee gave players red cards so that Nsami would have seven players.”