December 9, 2023
Sierra Leonean fans watched the men’s national team at the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year

The Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) is investigating the outcome of two matches that resulted in an incredible total of 187 goals.

The two matches in the second division saw Kahunala Rangers from Kenema and Golf FC from Kono victoriously beat their rivals in the English Premier League qualifiers on Sunday.

Kahunla beat Lumbibo United 95-0, and Gulf FC Cokema thrashed Lebanon 91-1 to claim the two biggest victories in Sierra Leonean football history.

However, the first-half results were 2-0 and 7-1 respectively, and both results were invalidated due to suspected match-fixing.

“We cannot stand idly by and see an embarrassing situation like this go unpunished,” Australian Football Association president Thomas Daddy Prima told BBC Sport Africa.

“We will launch an immediate investigation and judge all those responsible for this mediocre performance.

“All those found guilty will be dealt with in accordance with the laws of the SLFA, and will also be handed over to the country’s anti-corruption commission.”

The chief executive of Kahunla Rangers “strongly condemned the unsportsmanlike behaviour” and Lumbebu’s general manager said he was “not aware of any match-fixing”.

Meanwhile, the president of Cocoima Lebanon Club claimed that the match in which his team participated was in fact a friendly and officials from the Gulf Club refused to comment.

The association said it would investigate players and officials from all four clubs involved, appointed match officials and the Eastern Province Football Association.

The organization added that it had “zero tolerance” for match-fixing in the West African country, in compliance with the rules of the International Football Association (FIFA) and the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Goals roll in after the first half

Kahunla and Gulf FC both earned the same number of points in the final round of matches and were vying for the Eastern District’s remaining spot in the National Super 10, which serves as the final qualifying stage for the Premier League.

The two matches took place simultaneously and the referee for the Gulf match refused to run the second half and was later replaced.

Things took a dramatic turn during the second half when it became clear that the team with the best goal difference would pass – Kahunala scored 93 goals and Al Khaleej scored 84.

Kahunla CEO Eric Keitel has condemned his team and the three other parties involved on social media.

“I want to start by apologizing to football fans in the country and the world at large for the result of the Kahunla Rangers singles match,” Keitel said.

“I want to strongly stress that I strongly condemn such unsportsmanlike behavior shown by my team and the other teams involved.

“I am forming a committee to investigate the entire team including the technical staff and executive members, and whoever is found to be disabled will be dealt with accordingly.”

“I will never be a part of match-fixing”

And the general manager of Lumpio Club, Mohamed Jan Said Jalloh, stood as his team’s coach in the match in the absence of their main coach.

Three men were also fired from his team in their 95-0 defeat, protesting his innocence.

“I am not aware of any match-fixing but I cannot guarantee others,” Galloh told BBC Sport Africa.

“We conceded a lot of goals in the second half. I was frustrated and at one point left the touchline in a rage. I wasn’t focused after that, so I can’t even tell how many goals we conceded in everything.”

“I will never be a part of match-fixing.

“I am calling on the football authorities to investigate both matches and bring in anyone who is found to be missing custody. If no one is found guilty of any crime, so be it.”

The president of Cocoima Lebanon Club claimed that the result against Gulf FC was from a friendly match, and also disputed the result 91-1.

Muhammed Lanfia Tunkara said his players and club officials had told him that the league match between the two clubs had not actually taken place.

Instead, it was a meeting between “players in the community, including some of the Koquima players” which was held “to entertain fans who had bought tickets to watch their game with Gulf FC”.

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