Claim: A soccer team advanced in a cup match by deliberately scoring a goal against their own side.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, 2000]
It concerns a match played between Barbados and Grenada in cup competition.
Barbados needed to win the game by two clear goals in order to progress to the next round. Now the trouble was caused by a daft rule in the competition which stated that in the event of a game going to penalty kicks, the winner of the penalty kicks would be awarded a
With 5 minutes to go, Barbados were leading 2-1, and going out of the tournament (because they needed to win by
In the last five minutes, spectators were treated to the incredible sight of both team's defending their opponents goal against attackers desperately trying to score an own goal and goalkeepers trying to throw the ball into their own net. The game went to penalties, which Barbados won and so were awarded a
Origins: The above-quoted anecdote about an unusual end to a soccer game in cup competition references an incident that took place during a final group match between Barbados and Grenada for the 1994 Shell Caribbean Cup. The Barbados team had to win the match by at least two goals in order to face Trinidad and Tobago in the finals; anything less and their opponent in that match, Grenada, would advance to the next round instead. The rules in
As detailed above, Barbados was leading
As described by Simon Gardiner in his 2005 book,
The Grenada players, momentarily stunned by the goal, realised too late what was happening and immediately started to attack their own goal as well to stop sudden death. Sealy, though, had anticipated the response and stood beside the Grenada goalkeeper as the Bajans defended their opponents' goal. Grenada were unable to score at either end, the match ended
James Clarkson, the Grenadian coach, provided an unusual variation on the disappointed manager's speech: "I feel cheated," he said. "The person who came up with these rules must be a candidate for the madhouse. The game should never be played with so many players on the field confused. Our players did not even know which direction to attack: Our goal or their goal. I have never seen this happen before. In football, you are supposed to score against the opponents to win, not for them," he added.
Last updated: 24 June 2014
Gardiner, Simon. Sports Law. London: Routledge Cavendish, 2005. ISBN 1-859-41894-5 (pp. 73-74). Longmore, Andrew. "Absurd Cup Rule Obscures Football's Final Goal." 1 February 1994 (Sport). The Guardian. "Sixth Column." 5 February 1994 (Sports; p. 17).