Mashood Ssali, a Ugandan referee awarded Tanzania one of the fastest penalties in football history when Simon Msuva was fouled after just four seconds against Madagascar in a Group J FIFA World Cup Qualification match.
Msuva latched onto a hopeful punt forward after Tanzania kicked off before being felled in the box by onrushing Madagascar goalkeeper Melvin Adrien, for Ssali to immediately point to the spot.
Skipper Erasto Edward Nyoni converted the resulting penalty kick to set the Taifa Stars on their way to a hard-fought 3-2 win at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium on Tuesday, September 7.
The hosts went on to win the game through strikes from Novatus Dismas Miroshi and Feisal Salum Abdallah despite Njiva Rakotomarimalala and Thomas Fontaine pulling two back for the visitors.
This particular result pushed the Taifa Stars to the top of the log with four points but subjected Madagascar to languishing at the bottom of the group.
Pending confirmation, Tanzania’s penalty could well be the fastest-awarded spot-kick of all time if we are to assess the archives in both international and local game standards.
According to the Guardian Newspaper though, the record of the fastest penalty is not clear but below are some of the quickest in recorded history.
During a match between Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire in July 2015, Sean Johnson caught Ethan Finlay after just 13 seconds on the clock, Federico (brother to Gonzalo) Higuaín scored from the spot in a 3-1 home win.
The same time had earlier been made with the Valladolid versus Celta VigoEthanv in March 2001 when Fernando Fernández converted after Celta defender Fernando Caceres had hauled down Alberto Lopez after 13 seconds, but, the visitors came back to win 2-1.
After just 11 seconds in a Macclesfield v Wrexham game in November 2013, the visitors’ goalkeeper Andy Coughlin brought down Connor Jennings, who stepped up to convert the penalty.
In March 2014, Montenegro was awarded a penalty after just 10 seconds against Ghana. The Ghanaian defender David Addy slid in on Filip Kasalica in the area and Dejan Damjanovic converted to score the only goal of that game.
Two years later in November 2016 in a Steaua Bucharest versus Dinamo game, the latter’s keeper Jaime Penedo clattered midfielder William De Amorim with nine seconds played. Fernando Boldrin stepped in to score but Dinamo rallied back to win 3-1.
Heerenveen against SC Cambuur in November 2014 had a quicker one though. Leonard Nienhuis sent Mark Uth flying after eight seconds and the latter got up to convert. The game however finished 2-2 after 90 minutes.
The same happened a year later in February 2015 during Hamburg’s bout against Paderborn. Marcell Jansen was scythed down at eight seconds by Patrick Ziegler only for Rafael Van der Vaart to convert in Hamburg’s 3-0 win.
Well, whether Tanzania’s is the fastest in history or not, for a Ugandan referee to get involved in record-making mix is a plus in a country that is still struggling for international representation at the officiation level.