On this day in 2007 (13 years ago), Ghana football was hit with it worst match fixing scandal as Great Mariners defeated Tudu Mighty Jets 29-0 and Nania Fc also defeated Okwahu United 31-0.
As they say the last day of any season can be a bit of a nail-biter, especially when there’s everything still to play for. Back at the end of the 2007 Division One League season. Great mariners and Nania Fc went into the last game of the season in pole position to qualify to the Premier League. Both clubs were tied on points and battling for big wins to sway goal difference advantage and gain promotion to the country’s top flight league.
Mighty Jets on the day were playing Great Mariners in Cape Coast, Nania Fc were also taking on Okwahu United at the Sekondi Gyandu Park. Both games were evenly contested in the first 45 minutes. At the end of the first half, Nania were a goal up in their game, and reports elsewhere suggested that Great Mariners were three goals up.
Nania Fc in the second half went on to score 30 more goals, 29 of those goals were scored in the last 30 minutes. Great Miners on the other hand scored 28 goals, 23 goals of those goals were scored in the last 30 minutes. How could this have happened? Not sure it could have even in a video game.
To worsen matters, Okwahu United failed to convert a penalty. They also ended the game with 7 players on the field, numerous players left the field unfit to continue the game, all substitutes had been used up and both the starting and reserve goalkeepers were injured.
The aftermath of the shameful event saw all four clubs punished. All clubs involved were relegated to the third tier of the league and fined $20,000 each. A total of 46 players from across the four clubs were also suspended for the remainder of the season, plus the following term as well. Owner of Nania FC Abedi Pele was also banned from all footballing activities for a year. Later that year, the fines were reduced by 75% and Abedi Pele’s ban was lifted.
Since that ignoble events, all 4 teams have tried to get back on their feet. Mighty Jets in May, 2010 qualified to play in the elite league after beating no one other than Nania FC in the playoffs.
Abedi Pele’s Nania Fc also won they FA cup in 2011 after defeating giants Asante Kotoko 1-0. They also then went on to beat Berekum Chelsea to win the 2011 Ghana Super Cup. Nania’s FA triumph meant that they’ve secured a place in Africa. They redrew from the competition just few days to their opening game against Sequence FC of Guinea in the opening round of matches. They were banned from international competition for three years by CAF.
To this day, all 4 teams still remain in the lower tiers as they hope earn promotion to the country’s elite league one day.