The Sierra Leone Football Association is looking at two matches in the country’s second tier. The two soccer encounters produced an astonishing number of goals between them: 187.
Kuhunla Rangers beat Lumbebu United 95-0, while Gulf FC smashed Koquima Lebanon 91-1. The matches set the goal-scoring record for Sierra Leonean football. Both games saw their results voided on suspicions of match-fixing. At half time, scores were 2-0 and 7-1 respectively, with the avalanche of goals coming after the break.
“We can’t stand by and see an embarrassing situation like this go unpunished,” Sierra Leonean FA president Thomas Daddy Brima told BBC. “We’re going to launch an immediate investigation and bring to book all those responsible for this mediocrity. All those found guilty will be dealt with in accordance with the football laws, and will also be handed over to the country’s anti-corruption commission,” Brima vowed.
The organization he leads mentioned in a statement that it “maintains zero tolerance” against match manipulation, in compliance with the rules of world governing body FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
One of the refs left at half-time
Kahunla and Gulf FC had the same number of points going into the final round of matches and were fighting for Eastern Region’s last remaining place in the national Super 10 League, translated as the final qualifying phase for the Premier League. The two matches under investigation took place simultaneously. According to BBC Africa, Gulf FC’s match referee refused to officiate the second half and needed to be replaced. Basically, Kahunla and Gulf FC knew that the team with a better goal difference will go through and lost total control of reality on their way to the top position in the standings.
“I want to start by apologizing to the football fans in the country and the world at large for the odd match result of my club Kahunla Rangers,” Eric Kaitell, the CEO of Kahunla said on social media.
“I want to state firmly that I strongly condemn such unsportsmanlike behavior displayed by my team, and the other teams involved,” Kaitell promised.
“I’m setting up a committee to investigate the whole team including the technical staff and the executive members, and whoever is found guilty will be dealt with accordingly,” the club official added.
‘I wasn’t concentrating I can’t even tell how many goals we conceded’
Mohamed Jan Saeid Jalloh, the general manager of Lumbebu, replaced his team’s coach on the bench in the historical defeat against Kuhunla Rangers. Jalloh firmly denies that his team’s result has anything to do with match-fixing.
“We conceded lots of goals in the second half. I was frustrated and at some point even left the touchline in anger. I wasn’t concentrating afterward, so I can’t even tell how many goals we conceded in all,” Jalloh told BBC Africa.
“I’m calling on the football authorities to investigate both matches and bring to book anyone found wanting. And if nobody is found guilty of any crime then so be it,” Jalloh concluded.
The chairman of Koquima Lebanon also spoke publicly. He insisted the result against Gulf FC that the entire world is commenting about was from a friendly game and added he didn’t believe the final score actually was 91-1.