South African club given life ban after scoring 41 own goals in one game

South African football club Nsami Mighty Birds scored 41 own goals in one game in their 59-1 loss to Matiyasi, leading to the club being banned for life from the fourth tier of South African football.

As per BBC Sport, three others joined them on the list of banned sides after all four clubs were found to be taking part in match-fixing in the division.

Own goals are funny. When a player inadvertently directs the ball past their goalkeeper, it is often something that brings laughter to supporters.

Over history, some players have seemingly got a knack for finding their own net. In the Premier League, ex-Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel scored four own goals during the 2013-14 campaign. This is the highest tally of any Premier League player ever. It is a joint record, shared with Brighton‘s Lewis Dunk.

Another Liverpool player, Jamie Carragher, scored seven across his 17 years as a professional.

Most own goals in one game

The record for the most own goals scored by an individual in one game is held by Stan van den Buys. Van den Buys scored three in his own net as his side Germinal Beerschot lost to Anderlecht 3-2. New Zealand Women defender, Maikayla Moore, meanwhile, also scored a hat-trick of own goals during her side’s defeat to United States in February.

In addition, the record for most own goals scored by a team in a single match is genuinely remarkable. Madagascan side Stade Olympique L’Emyrne scored on their own net 149 times in a 149-0 defeat to AS Adema. They were protesting against a referee’s decision.

However, the South African side, Nsami Mighty Birds, took this one step further.

Nsami Mighty Birds score 41 own goals

They had taken on Matiyasi earlier on in the season, with the score line finishing 2-1 to Matiyasi. So when the sides met later on in the season, everyone was in for a shock.

Matiyasi defeated Nsami 51-1, who finished the match with only seven players.

Vincent Ramphago, president of the Mopani region, conducted an interview with BBC Sport Africa following the match.

He said: “Our investigation found that Matiyasi and Nsami wanted to stop Shivulani from topping the log [table], so they agreed on fixing the match to prevent this from happening.

“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?”

Fellow South African sides Shivulani Dangerous Tigers and Kotoko Happy Boys have also been sanctioned. Kotoko’s players simply walked off the pitch in their own 33-1 thrashing against Shivulani.

Ramphago said: “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.”

BBC have reported that the disciplinary committee found ‘evidence of collusion between the respective teams and the match officials to contrive the results’.

Fourth-placed side Gawula Classic, meanwhile, are the champions. The match officials involved have also been the subject of heavy bans.

Featured Image Credit: Getty