Football bosses have launched an inquiry into an allegation that a title-deciding game which supposedly finished 32-0 may never have been played.
Knottingley Albion JFC went into the last match of their Selby and District Junior Football League under-16s season tied on points at the top of the table with Rothwell JFC.
Knottingley’s inferior goal difference meant they needed to win the fixture against Castleford Town by a margin of at least 25 to take the title. In the event, a score of 32-0 was lodged with the league, more than enough to see Knottingley crowned champions.
Now, however, the West Riding County FA has confirmed it is probing a claim that the game did not take place. Football governance manager John Riordan yesterday described the allegation as “very serious”. He said: “I am conducting an inquiry using every avenue that I can. If it turns out that the match did not take place, then disciplinary charges could follow against individuals.”
The Selby and District league has already carried out its own investigation into the fixture because of the unusual nature of the scoreline.
The league was given details of who played and who handled refereeing duties. Selby and District officials concluded their inquiry after those parties said the match did take place. No other evidence was found to support the ‘phantom game’ allegation. Rothwell JFC subsequently contacted the West Riding County FA – which governs the Selby league – asking it to look into the matter. According to online records, Knottingley’s game with Castleford was played on May 6 at De Lacy Academy.
DON’T MENTION THE SCORE
A SCORELINE of 32-0 is certainly out of the ordinary – but it’s not unprecedented.
Arbroath were the long-standing holders of the record for the most goals scored in a single professional football match, thanks to their 36-0 win over Bon Accord in the Scottish Cup in 1885.
Their efforts were only bettered when Madagascan champions AS Adema chalked up a 149-0 win over Stade Olympique L’Emyrne in 2002.
Leeds United’s highest score, meanwhile, came in a 10-0 win over Norwegian side Lyn Oslo in the European Cup in 1969.