Level on points going into their final promotion play-off matches, two rival Nigerian teams needed a win with a good goal difference. But when they reported goal tallies into the dozens, the authorities stepped in.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Tuesday called the results from the games in the northeastern city of Bauchi "a mind-boggling show of shame."
Looking to play with the professionals in Nationwide League Division 3, Nigeria's lowest professional league, the amateur side Plateau United Feeders were 7-0 up at half time against Akurba FC in their final competition match on Monday.
In the second half, Plateau United Feeders reportedly scored a further 72 goals. That equates to a goal every 40 seconds for a continuous 45 minutes.
Their rivals, Police Machine, were leading Babayaro FC 6-0 at halftime. In the second half, Police Machine were reported to have scored 61 goals.
Plateau United Feeders claimed promotion to the professional league on better goal difference - until the NFF stepped in.
"The teams involved, their players and officials, match officials, (tournament) coordinator and anyone found to have played some role in this despicable matter would (will) be severely dealt with," NFF director of competitions Mohammed Sanusi said.
In the competition for promotion, Plateau and Police both won their opening games 2-0, then drew 0-0 when they met in the second round. Going into the final round, the two teams were level on points, so goal difference would be decisive.
Federation spokesman Ademola Olajire said: "We are setting up an investigation. We don't know exactly what happened. We just feel scandalized."
jm/rc (Reuters, AP, AFP)