SAFA official reveals more bizarre details after lower-tier club scored 59 goals in one match

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A SAFA official in the Limpopo region has revealed more bizarre details about the match-fixing scandal that saw one of the banned clubs scoring fifty-nine goals in one match.

Matiyasi FC, who were vying for promotion to the Provincial ABC Motsepe League, beat Nsami Mighty Birds 59-1, with forty-one of the goals scored as own-goals. The incident occurred on May 22 this year.

Title rivals Shivulani Dangerous Tigers beat Kototo Happy Boys 33-1 on the same date. Seven own goals were recorded.

All the four teams clubs were summoned to a Disciplinary Committee hearing on 25 May 2022 in Giyani.

They were found guilty of match-fixing and handed a life-ban from all football activities.

The club officials implicated in the scandal received suspensions of between five and eight seasons, while the referees got ten-season bans.

Explaining what motivated the clubs to reach such extreme levels of match manipulation, president of the SAFA’s Mopani region Vincent Ramphago told BBC Sport Africa that the title-chasing sides wanted to edge each other on superior goal difference.

“Our investigation found that Matiyasi and Nsami wanted to stop Shivulani from topping the log so they agreed on fixing the match to prevent this from happening,” stated Ramphago.

“After hearing that Matiyasi were leading 22-0 at half-time, Shivulani colluded to remove Kotoko Happy Boys players from the field. The players who came off said they were tired leaving their team with only seven players.

“In the Matiyasi game meanwhile, the referee gave players red cards so that Nsami ended up with seven players.”

Ramphago added: “When we investigated we discovered that some of the Matiyasi goals were not even [properly registered] because the referee was unable to interpret his report.

“We found 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 were they recording these?”