Shuaibu-Gara Ahmed Gambo, Owner, Babayaro FC.
In the wake of the 67-0 goal glut suffered by Babayaro FC in the hands of Police Machine in a crucial tie, the owner of the Nigerian side has disowned and disbanded the club.
Police Machine and Plateau United Feeder were gunning for promotion to the lowest tier of the Nationwide League Division, tied on the same points pending the ensuing tie with Babayaro FC and Akruba respectively.
Their chances of promotion hinged on goal difference and thus the story goes- Police Machine went on to defeat Babayaro FC 67-0, while Plateau United Feeder won Akruba 79-0 in an encounter played simultaneously. It has been reported both United Feeder and Machine scored 72 and 61 goals after the interval.
The final result would have meant Plateau United gained promotion at the expense of their rival, but the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has suspended the four clubs involved and termed the “scandalous” result “mind-boggling.”
Shuaibu-Gara Ahmed Gambo, Babayaro owner, who wasn’t chanced to witness the encounter, told BBC Sport he has ordered the team not to play the match but he was ignored by team officials.
“As soon as I heard the result, I disbanded the team,” Gambo said.
“It is disappointing that some people would bring the game to disrepute out of desperation.
“I have written a petition to the (state) police in Bauchi to investigate this shame and arrest anyone found to be involved,” club owner Gambo added.
Reports claim both officials and players immediately disappeared after the Babayaro match, making every attempt to arrest the culprits difficult.
Many have wondered how such a heavy scoreline could be witnessed in a ‘football’ match. Witnesses of the two matches said is owed to questionable refereeing decisions, club officials rather than ball boys returned the balls into play immediately after goals and inexplicable added time.
A journalist who witnessed the Babayaro versus Police machine match (pleaded anonymity) told BBC Sport:
“In the second half, we started witnessing outrageous own goals, free-kicks and terrible goalkeeping.
“Feeders blasted goal after goal past Babayaro. Officials of the club turned into emergency ball boys, instead of retrieving the ball from the net, they quickly threw another ball into the centre circle.
“It was ridiculous, because the losing side didn’t make any effort and officiating was abysmal, with controversial calls being made and unaccounted additional minutes played.
“Some people were on their mobile phone updating officials at the other venue.”