Nigerian Soccer Game Goes Viral for Possible Match-Fixing in Penalty Shootout

  • The incident involved a penalty shootout between Remo and Ijebu in the Ogun State FA Cup 
  • A video on Twitter showed one player miss so wide that it would have gone for a throw-in
  • Twitter users have suggested the clip shows clear match-fixing, rife in Nigerian soccer
  • In 2013, players received lifetime bans in two Nigeria soccer games thanks to crazy scorelines
Nigerian soccer game
A Nigerian soccer game has gone viral for all the wrong reasons after bizarre penalty kicks prompted allegations of match fixing.

Penalties with a twist

For many, a penalty shootout is the pinnacle of soccer entertainment. It pits the players against the keepers, testing their mettle in one of the most high-pressure situations in the world of sport. But one recent shootout has entertained Twitter users for another far more suspicious reason – potential match-fixing.

The game in question took place between the Remo Stars and Ijebu United in Nigeria on Thursday. As it was the final of the Ogun State FA Cup, a 0-0 draw took the game to penalties. That’s where things took a different turn, with two bizarre penalty kicks going viral on social media.

fires it so wide that it travels out at the touchline

In a clip shared widely on Twitter, one Ijebu United player scores his penalty while the keeper remains fixed in the spot without moving an inch. Then, a penalty taker for Remo steps forward and fires it so wide that it travels out at the touchline. Although the player holds his head in his hands in a display of dismay, most Twitter users are not convinced.

Out for a throw-in

Nigerian sports reporter Ibukun Aluko was one of the first to share the video of the incident. He claims the penalties show a clear incident of match-fixing in Ijebu’s ultimate 3-0 victory over Remo:

Ghanaian sports reporter Kwame Benaiah labeled the video: “Match fixing taken to another level.” Meanwhile, one Twitter user named Coley conceded that “Nigeria is not the first and will not be the last to match fix,” but questioned: “why did they make it look obvious?” Others have even called for both teams to be banned from all competitions.

The original poster of the video, Jegede Babajide, also shared a clip of another suspicious penalty in the shootout. It sees the Remo player fire the ball wide along the ground without reacting afterward:

Nigerian match-fixing

Match fixing has been present in the world of Nigerian soccer for years. In 2013, players and officials involved in two promotion play-off games received lifetime bans after an investigation into questionable scorelines. Amazingly, the first game finished 79-0, while the second ended on a slightly more modest scoreline of 67-0.

attempted to manipulate the outcome of a match

More recently, the Nigeria Football Federation announced a two-year ban for a coach in the country’s lower leagues last year. Remi Amadi of Cofine FC supposedly attempted to manipulate the outcome of a match with Bussdor FC, revealed in a tape of a conversation tendered as evidence.

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