Earlier in July, four Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) teams took part in an obvious match-fixing scandal. Since both teams had equal number of wins, Plateau United Feeders and Police Machine were both looking to earn a promotion with a higher goal differential. However, they won 79-0and 67-0.
On Tuesday, NFF announced that all players involved in the match-fixing scandal have been banned for life. Furthermore, all four teams have been banned for ”fraudulent conspiracy.” In one of the games, they discovered that one player scored 14 goals.
We live in an era where teams and players will go to all costs to win or, in this case, get promoted. However, their bribery cost them both a promotion and the club’s ability to compete for 10 years.
It is unfortunate that players and teams bribe and cheat their way to success. However, I am glad to see the NFF take a no-tolerance policy on match-fixing. It sends a message to other teams warning them that their players will be banned for life as well.
Hopefully more soccer leagues across the world will behave similarly in their match-fixing rulings. There should be zero tolerance for anyone who is found guilty of match-fixing. If a player is found guilty of altering the outcome of the match, he or she should be banned from soccer for life.
I understand that it’s hard to figure out who is involved in a fixed match, but the fans deserve better. They deserve to see players, coaches and referees being 100% authentic and watch a game that displays true skill and ability.
What is your opinion? Do you think the punishment was too harsh, too light, or just right? Comment below or use #RML on Twitter.
Phil Naegely is a sports writer for RantSports.com. Like him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @pnaegelyRS and add him to your circles on Google.