Rome: Italian football has been hit by another scandal, this time involving a team that scored eight own goals in the last 10 minutes of a regional cup match on their way to a 14-3 defeat.
The Italian federation (FIGC) is set to launch an investigation into the Coppa Sicilia match between Borgata Terrenove and Bagheria, the final game in a three-team group which also featured Partinicaudace. All three sides play in Prima Categoria, the eighth tier of the league.
Bagheria, needing a point to qualify, were 3-4 behind with 10 minutes to play in Wednesday’s game when Borgata hit two goals in quick succession.
Borgata players then watched in bewilderment as their opponents scored one own goal after the other, shared between three players, Italian media said.
The result meant Borgate qualified on goal difference ahead of Partinicaudace. “It had been a real contest up to a certain point then Bagheria staged a farce,” Borgata coach Ignazio Chianetta told the website Siciliaingol. “Their captain told me they preferred us to qualify rather than Partinicaudace.”
Partinicaudace coach Giovanni Cammarata said: “I can guarantee there was no agreement between us and Bagheria. I can’t try to understand a motive for these eight own goals. It has nothing to do with football and I hope the FIGC investigates.” Sandro Morgana, the FIGC’s regional president, said: “I will personally inform our prosecutors about this and they will look into the case and establish which sanctions should apply.”
However, the 11-goal victory falls well short of the record defeat that currently stands at 149-0, when AS Adema beat Stade Olymique L’Emyrn in Madagascar in 2002, after the Stade Olymique players were outraged by a refereeing decision. As a result, they deliberately scored all the goals in their own net to protest the ruling.
The incident could be the latest blow to hit Italian football after the Calciopoli scandal in 2006 and Calcio Scommesse in 2011/12.
Last year Gennaro Gattuso was investigated for match fixing while Lazio and Italy midfielder Stefano Mauri recently returned from a suspension for failing to alert the authorities to a potential fix in his team’s game against Lecce in 2011.