After incredulous scorelines of 67-0 and 79-0, the Nigerian Football Federation has decided to suspend Police Machine FC, Bubayaro FC, Plateau United Feeders and Akurba FC.
Yola-based Police Machine annihilated Bubayaro FC from Gombe 67-0, while Jos-based Plateau United Feeders, whitewashed Akurba FC from Nasarawa 79-0 in a series of playoff games expected to decide who would qualify to play in the Nationwide League Division 3.
Going into the last round of games at the Bauchi centre last Sunday, Police Machine and Plateau United Feeders were level on points, and goal difference was expected to determine who would grab the centre’s sole available ticket to the Nationwide League.
To avoid any form of match-fixing, the last round of matches were played simultaneously at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium and the Games Village pitch. And after 45 minutes of action, both Plateau United Feeders and Police Machine were ahead of their respective opponents 6-0.
As if scoring a collective 12 goals against their opponents in the opening 45 minutes wasn’t enough, both Plateau United Feeders and Police Machine went gung-ho in the second halves, recording a mind-boggling 134 goals.
Chairman of the NFF Organising Committee, Mike Umeh, who also serves as the NFF’s 1st Vice President, was alarmed when informed and promptly directed that the four teams at the centre of the scandal be grounded, pending further sanctions on all involved.
“It is unacceptable. This is a scandal of huge proportions. The four teams involved are suspended immediately and indefinitely, pending further sanctions. We will investigate this matter thoroughly and get to the bottom of it,” Umeh said on Tuesday.
NFF’s Director of Competitions, Mohammed Sanusi assured that the Organising Committee would mete out severe sanctions on all persons and institutions indicted by the investigation.
“For now, that centre is suspended. The teams involved, their players and officials, match officials, coordinator and anyone found to have played some role in this despicable matter would be severely dealt with,” Sanusi said.
Further confirming the suspension of the teams was secretary of the Nigerian Nationwide League, Emmanuel Adesanya, who disclosed to Nigerian Telegraph that the teams, along with a number of other officials from the Bauchi centre, have all been summoned to the secretariat of the NFF in Abuja.
“The results from the zone have been annulled and all four teams have been suspended,” he said. “We are inviting the representatives of the four teams to Abuja, along with the referees, the FA secretary in charge of the centre, and the board member that was on ground.”
The board member Adesanya was referring to is Tanko Maiyaki, who had earlier, on Monday, announced the cancellation of all results from the centre.
“All have been summoned to Abuja by the NFF so that this issue will be cleared once and for all in the interest of football in Nigeria,” added Adesanya.