Players involved in 'scandalous' Nigeria's goalfest banned

Reuters, Monday 22 Jul 2013

Two 79-0 and 67-0 victories lead to stiff punishments on Nigerian amateur clubs

Nigeria's soccer federation has imposed a life ban from all football-related activities on the players and officials from the amateur clubs involved in two matches that yielded a total of 146 goals earlier this month.

Plateau United Feeders crushed Akurba 79-0 while Police Machine demolished Babayaro 67-0 in third division promotion playoffs. Both winning teams had been looking for a superior goal difference to advance.

 "Investigation showed that all the players and officials of the four teams were involved in the shameful act," Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) vice president Mike Umeh told a news conference in Abuja on Monday.

"It was embarrassing that in one of the games, a player scored 11 times while in the other, four goals were scored within a minute and a player scored three own goals in a match."

The NFF had set up a committee to investigate the matter after Feeders scored 72 goals in the second half of their game and Police Machine netted 61 times after the break.

"All the players and officials of the four clubs involved in the two matches including all the technical and administrative staff who led them to the playoff in Bauchi are banned for life," Umeh added.

"The captain of Akurba FC, Arijide Said Timothy, who scored three own goals against his team is believed to have been the arrowhead in the scandalous result. Thus, we recommend his ban from all football activities for life.

"The match officials consisting of the entire centre referees and their assistants and match commissioners for the two matches are also banned for life for not living up to their responsibility and allowing the game to be brought into disrepute.

"The four clubs ... are banned for a period of 10 years."

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