At its most basic level, soccer is about scoring more goals than the opposing team. The excitement of soccer comes from the variety of ways in which teams attempt to score goals and the number of ways in which goals can be achieved.
The highest score ever recorded in a soccer game was 149–0. Stade Olympique de l’Emyrne, a soccer team from Madagascar, lost to AS Adema on October 31, 2002, by a score of 149 goals to 0.
The number of goals scored in this game is unparalleled.
The THB Champions League is a domestic competition in the African island nation. It consists of 24 clubs that qualify after passing through their local leagues.
The 24 clubs were divided into four groups of six teams. The top three teams from the first stage advanced to the second stage of the competition, while the last-standing team was eliminated. The two last-standing teams were then joined by the two best-ranked third-place finishers in another group of six teams, and the top two positions advanced to a final round against each other for the title.
The 2002 championship round included four clubs: Adema Analamanga, Stade Olympique de l’Emyrne, Domina Soivana Atimondrano Antananarivo, and Union Sportive Ambohhidrimo. Stade Olympique de l’Emyrne was the defending champion.
The four clubs playing in Adema’s cage in Toamasina competed in a round-robin tournament over 11 days to determine a champion.
Before the historic event, L’Emyrne faced Antananarivo in a decisive match. The team needed full points to maintain their chance of winning the title; a draw or defeat would have severely hurt their chances because they would have to face Adema next.
Controversy surrounded the match before the final whistle. Referee Benjamina Razafintsalam awarded a controversial penalty kick to Antananarivo, which was converted into a goal and won them the match.
The referee’s decision to award a penalty kick to Antananarivo in the final match enraged the players and management of L’Emyrne, who believed their team had earned a chance to retain the title.
In the last match of the 2002–03 season, L’Emyrne faced Adema. This game was known as the “historical game” because of what happened there.
The players and managers of L’Emyrne were still reeling from their team’s previous disappointing loss, which made an impression on all of them. The team was reported to have had a dispute before the final match kicked off between officials, players, and coach.
The referee’s very controversial decision in the match against Antananarivo was a source of disappointment for L’Emyrne. They then vented their frustration by deliberately scoring goals against themselves shortly after kicking off.
The match, however, has also been surrounded by controversy, as the SO l’Emyrne players felt aggrieved by a penalty decision that went against them in the previous game. Since SO l’Emyrne had already lost the championship, they decided to use their final match to protest Madagascan footballing authorities.
For the entire duration of the match, players from SO l’Emyrne deliberately turned toward their own goal and began to intentionally score their own goals as AS Adema players stood in disbelief. The opposing team’s players found many things amusing, including the fact that their opponents repeatedly kicked the ball into their own goal. The suicidal goals continued until the match was over.
All of those occurred while the referee stood helplessly by. The match didn’t stop until the final minutes, and then the players of L’Emyrne scored goal after goal, with one goal being netted every 36 seconds, for a total of 149 own goals.
The protest was unrelenting, as L’Emyrne amassed an incredible 149 own goals in 90 minutes. Though this was an extreme form of protest, it had serious consequences for all involved in the SO l’Emyrne team.
The Adema players were speechless when they saw their fierce rivals perform silly actions. The audience laughed until finally, they demanded that the organizers consider presenting a joke match. Many fans were outraged at what they saw as a poor performance by both teams and demanded refunds.
After the incident, the Madagascar Football Federation suspended four L’Emyrne players—Mamisoa Razafindrakoto (goalkeeper), Manitranirina Andrianiaina (Captain), Nicolas Rakotoarimanana, and Dominique Rakotonandrasana—for one year. They were banned from entering the stadium until their suspensions ended.
The coach, Ratsimandresy Ratsarazak, was given a more severe penalty than his players. He was given a three-year active ban from football and was barred from entering the stadium while the sentence was still valid.
The Madagascar Football Federation warned all L’Emyrne players that if they violate an upcoming sanction and do not stay away from their next match, more serious action will be taken against them. The Adema players were also given a warning by the Federation. They were threatened that they would also receive more serious sanctions if they ignored the warning.
Meanwhile, the referee L’Emyrne considered responsible for the problem, was not punished for his actions.
Although the context surrounding the game raises questions about the credibility of the 149-0 score, it is nevertheless a result that will almost certainly never be beaten in the history of soccer—AS Adema and SO L’Emyrne will enter the record books for an unprecedented achievement.
Guinness World Records had to revise its records, previously held by the match Arbroath vs. Bon Accord, which ended 36-0. The record that occurred in 1885 was broken by the match of AS Adema vs. L’Emyrne (149-0).