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Sports News
Probe This Football Scandal 4/4/2007
Ghana football was on Wednesday scandalized in one of football’s most bizarre farces when two Division One national middle league matches produced a cricket score of 57 goals. African great and Ghana’s soccer pride Abedi Ayew Pele was at the sidelines when his team, Nania FC walloped Okwawu United by 31 goals to nothing while Great Mariners, another Accra based Division One club cut Tudu Mighty Jets to pieces with an incredible 26 nil margin.

The incredible results have left a moral sore on the game’s recent positive image, revisiting a 1989 madness that saw a relegation dogfight end with similarly incredulous goal margins. Interestingly the ridiculous goals on Wednesday were flowing “waa waa” only a day Ghana struggled in vain for just a goal to cancel Brazil’s goal against the Black Stars in an international friendly. Both winners were tied at four points each in their national middle league campaigns going into the final games to seek qualification to the Premier League and needed good wins.

However the manner in which the goals were registered has left a sour taste in the mouths of football fans and analysts who wasted no time to tag the two matches as a ‘big joke’. Correspondents say players of both Mariners and Nania could virtually walk the balls into their opponents’ goal posts without opposition. And when they concede a goal, players of Mighty Jets and Okwawu United could restart the game by kicking the balls to their opponents on their way for yet another easy goal.

Mathematically, Nania FC who finished tops of Zone Three on seven points and 32 goals qualify ahead of Mariners who finished second with seven points and 29 goals. In Zone One, Wa All Stars qualified after winning all their games to finish nine points and six goals while Kessben FC won from Zone Two with nine points and four goals. What remains however is the moral fortitude of the current administrators of the game, on whom so much credit and praise has been showered, to call the bluff of the slanderers of the game.

The last time around it was Sekondi Hasaacas, Eleven Wise, B.A. United and Man U who conspired to bring the game into disrepute. At the time Hasaacas and United, threatened by relegation and tied at 21 points, scandalously walloped Wise and Man U respectively by 19 and 20 goals.
Before the disputed final games, United were three goals richer than Hasaacas, which meant that the latter needed no less than four goals than whatever United could fetch to oust them. That desire set the two sides on the road to the cricket scores.

But the authorities then were decisive, handing all four clubs six months suspensions from GFA-organised games and cash fines, including the forfeiture of all gate proceeds in the specific games. Man U who failed to pay their fine within stipulation received a two-year ban into oblivion, and later all players as well as officials involved in the gang up were also banned one year each. The sanctions on the players and officials were later lifted though.

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