*It’s possible —Statistician

Three university lecturers on Thursday expressed mixed feelings over the ongoing scandalous results from a recent Nigeria Nationwide League (NNWL) Division 4 competition.

The three lecturers are: Akinfenwa Oluseye and Onyeka Ubaka of the Mathematics Department, University of Lagos and Ismail Raji(also a Mathematician) of the University of Ibadan’s Department of Educational Management.

According to them, while it is mathematically impossible, it is statistically possible to score as many as 78 goals within 45 minutes in a match, Akinfenwa Oluseye, a specialist in Mathematics, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos: “it is mathematically impossible to score as many as 78 goals in 45 minutes during a football match.

“Mathematically speaking, it is impossible to score 78 goals under 45 minutes because 45 minutes multiplied by 60 seconds equals 2,700 seconds, and the 2,700 should be divided by the 78 goals scored.

“That means that in the second half, a goal was scored every 34 seconds for them arrive at that score line.

DO OR DIE AFFAIR: A typical scene  from the Nigerian league.
DO OR DIE AFFAIR: A typical scene from the Nigerian league.

“Considering the speed of the players, the field of play and the short jubilation by players, one can round it up to 39 seconds per goal and if you do the mathematics again, you will find that it’s not possible.

“That means you will have 39 seconds to score every other goal, which isn’t remotely possible, because you can’t be that fast. Oluseye also notes: “assuming it’s the fastest man on earth picking the balls and returning it to the centre, it still doesn’t sum up”.

He added that even if the opponents were mere statues, the goals would not total 146 goals in all.

“It is a match between two opponents and even if one wasn’t present at the pitch, one cannot even score up to that number of goals because the ball has to be passed between the players”.

Ubaka, a specialist in statistics, on other hand, said: “from a statistical point of view, it is possible to score 79 goals and above in a match.

“Football is a game of chance, the probability of scoring as many as 100 goals is not impossible; chances are that the players are not good or they are not standard players.

“Maybe, within the first half, the coach studied their opponents’ weaknesses and capitalised on the slightest mistake to shoot at target.

“If the goalkeeper is not good, it is possible to score 10 goals under a minute. Statistics and probability prove that it is possible to score as many goals and even more than 100 goals within that duration,” Ubaka said.

Raji, of the University of Ibadan’s Department of Educational Management, said:   “It is possible but there may be some conspiracy. There is a tendency for that, but a team can score as many as 80 goals.

“They can score a goal every 30 seconds. A ball can travel from one end of a pitch under a minute and if the winning team is not wasting time, it can score as many goals as possible”.

Plateau Feeders and the Police Machines FC, in an apparent bid to win the two slots for promotion from Division 4 to Division 3 of the NNWL may have connived to achieve the scandalous goals, in order to put their qualification beyond question.

Plateau United Feeders had defeated Akurba FC of Nassarawa, 79-0, while Police Machines defeated Bubayero of Gombe, 67-0. All four clubs have been banned indefinitely by the Nigeria Football Association

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