Fifa refuses to back Lionel Messi or Godfrey Chitalu for goal record

Fifa has refused to get involved in the debate about who holds the world record for scoring the most goals in a year.
It was widely reported that Lionel Messi’s 86th goal of 2012, which he scored on Sunday, surpassed a mark set by Germany’s Gerd Mueller 40 years ago.
But the Zambian Football Association claimed Godfrey Chitalu had scored 107 goals for club and country in 1972.
Fifa does not keep domestic records, so “it’s not an official Fifa record”, spokesman Alex Stone told BBC Sport.
The world governing body said that, given it only maintains statistics for the international competitions it runs, it is not possibly to ratify records from club football around the world.
“We don’t have a database which details every football game played in every country from around the world since day one of their formation,” Stone said.
“It’s certainly nothing to do with bias – if we can confirm records from our tournaments we like doing that.
“It’s the sort of data fans and the media like to see.”
Stone confirmed that Fifa has not recognised Messi as holding the record.
“It’s a record where someone in the media obviously collected statistics from somewhere and noticed Messi was about to pass that record.”
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35 Responses to "Fifa refuses to back Lionel Messi or Godfrey Chitalu for goal record"

  1. I love Zambia  December 16, 2012 at 09:36

    Fifa is being racist about Chitalus Record..

  2. Observation Point (OP)  December 15, 2012 at 19:55

    I know why all football fanatics have memorized the UEFA, LA LIGA, BARCLAY, etc, schedule and know all the players of major European clubs. The reason is simple. Those guys are organized hence attracting attention and support. But look at our arrangement. No one wears a Zesco, Red arrows, or even Nkana shirt to show they are followers of those clubs. Everyone is clad in Chelsea, Barca, Man U, Arsenal. In short, FIFA is concerned with such worldly celebrated clubs and national teams featuring in world cups. That’s the cream of world soccer. If you have to complain about Chitalu’s record, start organising, supporting, and putting our national and club teams on the spot to attract international attention especially FIFA.

  3. Loconino  December 15, 2012 at 15:29

    Get over it people. There is no way of proving Chitalu’s record because matches were not televised during that time. There is also a question mark about why this issue is being raised now. This justifiably creates suspicion that the records were either not accurate or have been tampered with. There is also a question of the standard of play in the Zambian league. Can you really see Godfrey Chitalu scoring 107 goals in La Liga ? I think not somehow.

  4. Gabriel  December 15, 2012 at 13:38

    FIFA’s argument is lame! They supervise local leagues through National Football Associations. They should then be able to get the records from those Associations.

  5. Rex  December 15, 2012 at 10:57

    In 1972 the top scorer was actually Stanley Phiri of Lusaka Tigers but as Chitalu was highly popular at the time and a bit better known than Stanley they gave the awad to him and a second place award to Stanley . I was there at the presentation ceremony.

    • jack  December 15, 2012 at 16:55

      Don’t mislead the people, Car was unchallenged in that year. I was there too!

  6. Chief Pedro  December 15, 2012 at 09:24

    Just because it is an African they can’t recognise, mwe mbushi mwe!!!

    • Zed spectator  December 15, 2012 at 09:29

      Quality not quantity please

  7. GOOD OLD DAYS  December 15, 2012 at 08:31

    Get the point; FIFA has said thhey DO NOT recognise Messi as well as Chitalu as record holders and the reasons have been stated. Its as simple as that. I dont like people who always talk of racism. Ofcourse it exists but the best and effective way of fighting it is by being proud that we are black.

  8. ucar  December 15, 2012 at 07:08

    fifa is bitter!

  9. Katenga  December 15, 2012 at 06:04

    Fifa u make wel organised confusions in footbal maters.

  10. philip  December 15, 2012 at 01:27

    I believe Fifa is bias and discriminating against the Africans, it is the white who raised the issue of Muller scoring the most goals then without seeing the goals scored by the the Zambian Chitalu and the same white media are publicising goals scored by Messi.Goals scored by Messi were scored for country and club and the ones
    scored by Chitalu were also scored for club and country, so what is fifa saying.

  11. asasaasas  December 14, 2012 at 20:48

    you guys who are arguing on chitalu are idiots mother fackers. why are you so dull.Fifa has said they do not reconise MESSI as well because they do not keep club records.They simply do not have top scorer on their records.Things end there.So neither messi nor chitalu are recognised so it simply means no one has scored more goals.

    • Nshinwa bwino  December 15, 2012 at 06:11


  12. DCT  December 14, 2012 at 19:59


    • DCT  December 14, 2012 at 20:01


  13. DCT  December 14, 2012 at 19:57


  14. BURNING SPEAR(AFRICAN TEACHER)  December 14, 2012 at 17:18


  15. eagle's eye  December 14, 2012 at 17:03

    it’s sheer incompetence or our part. Gerd Mueller scored 84 goals in 1972, the same year that Chitalu scored his 107 but did the football authorities back then bring it to FIFA’s attention?

    • space  December 14, 2012 at 18:48

      Don’t be trigger happy. This matter has been discussed a number of times before. May be you were too young to notice. Now FIFA say they do not recognise records at club level, so the debate (involving FIFA ends). The late Ridgeway Liwena (who played soccer in Zambia with late ‘Zoom’ Ndhlovu) documented what he knew from his records as a journalist just like the international journalist have done. As a faithful Zambian I do not doubt ba Liwena’s records since no one in Zambia present in 1972 has disputed the findings.

  16. israel oliver  December 14, 2012 at 16:45

    Why didn’t the zambians bring out chitalu’s name when muller was the highest goal scorer? It is now they are battling with messi’s own.

  17. CLIVE... LOCALMOTIV.. CHIRWA .  December 14, 2012 at 16:32

    U can never change history but the future. If it hapend that Ucar scord mo goals then it stays like that wethr recorded or not !

  18. Kk 11  December 14, 2012 at 16:16

    Its absurd 4 fifa to issue such a statement its like wen ur asked 2 choose btwn yes and no and u say neither,u stil havent answered

  19. Tiyeni Nazo  December 14, 2012 at 16:08

    ha ha ha ha. FIFA has shifted the goal post-literally

  20. EZRON  December 14, 2012 at 16:07

    Fifa is right zambians were where u when muller had hold that record 4 a long time.lets be fair guys dont count even those goals which he was scoling when he was at nesery school,start counting when he joined the lig.

    • zagaze  December 14, 2012 at 17:05

      Ezron,you are really dull. the zambian premier league is telling you that chitalu scored these goals in the 1972 zambian league games + international matches. what has nursery school got to do with this? you are the muzungu anikonde type of guys,so brainwashed that when you start talking with a white guy,you even change your accent. i will tell you another thing,this fight about chitalu has been there for a long time. i remember in the 80s as a small boy,my uncle told me about this record. so people ave been talking and trying to get it recognised since then. but its fools like you who keep watching english premier league,spanish and italian that you forget your own. how would you know about chitalu when your focus is arsenal or is it chelsea. knowing the history of these clubs by heart,knowing the transfers of player from time in memorial by heart. but am glad fifa has somewhat opnened your eyes. they dont want to recognise our chitalu and if you have any brains at all you will start to see that abalwani will not respect your own(chitalu) compared to theirs(messi,barcelon,chelsea). but you will still blindly follow the chelseas of this world. why spend all the money on beers watching english premier league? instead of using that money to buy a ticket for 10-15 pin at the gate at woodlands to watch national assembly play zesco or some other games in zambia. when Ezron did you last watch a local league game and dont cheat us here? be patriotic, no english man or spanish man is watching your league later on even buying your players with a few exceptions. even when we are african champions,they still wont get our players. just watch congo zaire league if you want international matches. be patriotic. so corrupt you are. even your name is borrowed. Ezron. why cant you get a zambian name? where is your pride. show me any chinese,british,american who has a zambian name? they will only have it if and only if they were zambians turned american,british e.t.c. in short there is no white man with a zambian name in israel,spain or britain. when kanshi will you people learn? am tired of this ignorance. Even your identity sure such as a name is also taken? kwena mulampapusha!!!

      • Distant Drums  December 14, 2012 at 18:30

        I thought you expressed your personal views on Chitalu and his 107 goals fairly well. Unfortunately you concluded your posting by digressing to a completely unrelated subject about the name Ezron which has upset you because it is not Zambian. Surprisingly you have made your lengthy posting in English instead of Bemba. Is it hypocrisy or temperament?

        • Zambian in the diaspora  December 14, 2012 at 19:46

          you make it sound like bemba is the next official language. i think its only logical chimp sense that if you are Zambian (tho some languages are widely spoken in Zambia as compared to others), it makes chimp sense that if i used English on this forum any Zambian literate enough to use a computer would understand me.but i cant say the same the same about bemba. in fact if all that had been expressed in bemba this right now would have changed into some tribal war of words. in any case i agree with him to some extent named all my kids by African names it starts there. they have none of that CHRISTIAN NAME stuff on them.

      • Mwepu  December 15, 2012 at 17:13

        Check the depth in the Zagaze reasonin n what influence language has on humanity-mind there is no proper school for this depth!

    • Bupe  December 14, 2012 at 18:40

      I agree with you my brother Ezron. You are actually spot on. Why should Zambia cry foul now when the Germany guy was being crowned the title of scoring many goals in the same year Godfrey Ucar Chitalu scored more than him? It does not pay to be late at something and only bring it now. This is seen as a way of just wanting to stand on the way of the young and vibrant Messi. If FAZ and the Zambian authorities were serious about this, they should have brought it out even before Messi was about to be crowned say last year and not now. This is just an attempt to block the young Argentine who deserves the title. Let us put aside jealousy. I am happy FIFA has taken this stance though it disadvantages Messi.

      • space  December 14, 2012 at 19:01

        Samuel Matete is one of the greatest runners Zambia has ever produced. He has competed at the highest level and been world champion. Do you here the whites talking about his achievements regularly? Even for them to talk about Pele, it is more because of the goals he scored during the 4 world cups he featured in than what he achieved at club level. I leave abroad and many times I sit in lectures, world reknown professors say things that are not true about about Africa. Let alone, Zambia. They constantly have to be corrected by the African students. So the fact that CNN say something does not make it fact, when we clearly know there is fact elsewhere.

  21. village chicken  December 14, 2012 at 16:03

    when we were young, we used to travel distances just to watch Ucar. sad that he was great at the wrong time

  22. Youngster!  December 14, 2012 at 15:52

    So let FIFA tell us how many Chitalu scored for Country since they keep records for international games which are sanctioned by FIFA

  23. nyambe  December 14, 2012 at 15:50

    fifa are racist they should not pretend in fair play,who started the issue of messi surpassing the record?.they are just disappointed that africa hosted the best ever wold cup tournament i n 2010

    • Loconino  December 15, 2012 at 15:39

      FIFA aren’t racist. You just have a big chip on your shoulder. Why is this issue only coming up now and where have you been these last 40 years. Can you really compare Chitalu’s achievement with that of Messi considering the gulf in quality between the Zambian and Spanish League ? Is there not reasonable suspicion that records may have been tampered with over the past 40 years and, as such, there is no way FIFA can validate this claim ? Grow up litte boy.

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