Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Spain

Fifa can't verify claims over Messi record



World football's governing body on Friday said that they were unable to check whether claims that an African footballer and not Argentina star Lionel Messi was the record holder for the most goals scored in a calendar year.

"Thanks for the questions about Godfrey Chitalu. Our official stats are limited to Fifa competitions, so we cannot verify this 'record'," Fifa's communications department said on its Twitter account @fifamedia.

"We keep records for all Fifa competitions," it added.

Barcelona forward Messi was hailed by many as the greatest player ever in the game after he scored twice on Sunday to beat the 40-year-old record of Germany's Gerd Mueller and take his tally to 86 for 2012.

Claims emerged on Thursday that he may still be well short of Zambia legend Chitalu, who netted 107 times – 49 in league matches for Kabwe Warriors and 58 in cup and internationals – between January 23 and December 10, 1972.

A black and white photograph of a smiling Chitalu, dressed in a suit and holding a ball inscribed with "1972 Godfrey Chitalu 107 goals" has been widely circulated on the Internet.

Yet there have also been claims that his name was raised by jealous supporters of Barca rivals Real Madrid to prevent the record going to a Barcelona player.

Zambian commentator Musonda Chibulu and fellow researcher Jerry Muchimba, who compiled their data from daily newspapers and the southern African country's national archives, have said they would try to get Chitalu's tally ratified by Fifa.

The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) also said it wants recognition for the player, who is considered one of the best to have played for The Copper Bullets, who are the current holders of the Africa Cup of Nations.

"Kabwe Warriors, for whom Godfrey Chitalu played, is a legendary team in our country," FAZ president Kalusha Bwalya was quoted as saying on the BBC Sport website.

"Their front line had Godfrey Chitalu scoring all the goals – and even for the national team, this man did a lot. So I think it would be important for people to recognise his feats."

Chitalu died with the whole national football team when their airplane crashed off the coast of Gabon in 1993 on the way to a World Cup qualifier in Senegal. He was head coach at the time.

A similar challenge had already been contested on Wednesday by Brazilian club Flamengo, who insisted that their former player, Zico, scored 89 times in the 1979 season.

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Dr Errol Sweeney
German ref epitomised what refereeing is all about
I’m regularly asked what is required to be a top class referee in soccer. What are the basics, the...

Segun Odegbami
Barcelona on my mind
I guess every reader of this column knows by now that I am a fan of Barcelona.

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Jose's feeling the heat
Many of my regular readers here will know I am neither a Jose Mourinho apologist nor a cult...

John Dykes
Make the call, ref!
Here’s an excerpt from an alternative, purely fictitious match report from Saturday’s Barclays...

Carol Radull
Arsenal, it's good to be third
I love making Manchester United supporters angry. And nowadays it’s so easy to do that.

Neil Tovey
Who scored in the transfer window?
The January transfer window is challenging as you are either getting players who are short of game...