By Michael Kachitsa
The world record for goals scored in senior football, which has stood steadfast ever since Arbroath thumped Bon Accord 36-0 in 1885, has been smashed by a team from Madagascar.
Farcical scenes quicky led to a basketball score as league champions AS Adema won a match 149-0, more than quadrupling the existing record – and without gaining possession between the first goal and the 149th.
Their opponents, Stade Olymique L’Emyrne, took complete control of the national league game, reducing Adema to the role of onlookers, as they deliberately plonked the ball in the back of their own net 149 times, in protest over a refereeing decision.
The English Football Association believe that the 149-0 scoreline represents a new world record. “I certainly think it’s a world record,” said the FA’s historian David Barber.
“I’ve heard of a local league game in Nottingham that finished 50-2 and there was a 43-0 in an Austrian regional game before the second world war – but nothing this big.”
Radio Madagascar reported on Friday that SOE scored the own goals against Adema as a protest after their coach Ratsimandresy Ratsarazaka lost his temper with the referee.
Adema’s players reportedly stood around looking bemused, doing nothing to stop the opposition from self-destructing.
Strangely, SOE were no part-timers either – they were last year’s Malagasy champions who surprisingly won through to the second round of the African Champions League this season. The game was played on 31 October 2002.