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    Walt Shakes

    Walter Ude (@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter. He blogs at mymindsnaps.wordpress.com.

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A Hilarious Story About That Nigerian Super Eagles Football Match

I was earlier tagged to read this incredibly hilarious piece from a friend’s blog, and the write-up amused me so much, I thought to share. The blog is legalwatchmen.blogspot.com and the writer is Nonso Anyasi. Read and enjoy.

Lions, Barefeet and Courage

Since university lecturers do not seem willing to return to their lecture theatres until the Federal Government is ready to hand over the whole National treasury to them, let me assume the role of a History teacher today.

This is a legend (or should I say myth?) that has been spurn in the home of every sport loving Nigerian family. It is the story of the legendary match between Nigeria and India where India thrashed (sounds too mild – hammered, trounced, whipped, and slaughtered) the Green Eagles of Nigeria by 99 goals to 1. Aha! That is the one I am talking about. India, 99 – Nigeria, 1. If you didn’t hear this story, and you are at least in Junior Secondary school, then it means that you either didn’t grow up in the country, or you are an extreme Ajebo – the type whose fathers steal millions of naira meant for the development of the country and hide in Swiss banks.

When it happened, no one can tell. Not even the oldest indigenous coach in Nigeria seems to know the exact date or at least year when it happened. But everyone seems to agree that it happened at the National Stadium in Surulere Lagos (Good old Surulere). Everyone also seems to agree that the Indian national football team at that time were mediocre who refused to wear shoes on the pitch. I am sure GEJ is a distant descendant of their coach. (No be me talk am ooo). Many football scholars also seem to agree that it happened immediately after the Civil War. At a time when Gowon was still doing nothing in Lagos, and Mobolaji Johnson was the Military Governor of Lagos State. And Awolowo… where was he? He must have been around as a minister, Nnamdi Azikwe was definitely still Zik of Africa that time. So the period must have been around 1970. (This is what is called deduction)

Who organised the match, I don’t know, but I don’t think the FIFA of Joseph Blatter would have had anything to do with the organisation of the match because India definitely played bare-footed. Historians would agree with me that it was a friendly match, because one of the conditions of the match was that if we managed to score a single goal, we would be the winners of the match. Okay, so the match kicked off at the National Stadium in Surulere which was packed full with (deceased) spectators. Abeg, if you know anybody wey watch the match live wey never die, carry am go Ministry of information kia-kia. Make dem collect sworn affidavit from am. I am very sure that NEPA must have taken light just before the match started (wicked people), and there must have been fuel scarcity at that time because there is no existing video of the match. Shebi camera dey use electricity?

The match kicked off. The Eagles, with their expectations high, looked forward to an easy home win. This is where the story branched into two parts. Here, we have two different accounts from different schools of thoughts.

The first school of thought is of the idea that the eleven barefooted Indian players on the pitch were supported by a Team B of eleven airborne players. These eleven players in the air were suspended by means of the (then) latest technology that even the United States had not yet come close to discovering. Whenever the ball gets to an Indian on the ground, he immediately plays the ball up where it is caught by the Team B players in the air, who take it towards the Nigerian goal where they drop it down for a ground player to easily score. This of course explains why they were able to score 99 goals within 90 minutes.

The second school of thought developed their theory from the confessions of the Nigerian players and goalkeeper on the pitch. Their theory is that whenever the Nigerians had the ball, it would immediately transform, by means of Indian technology, to the head of a lion, or other wild animals. Of course, which Nigerian in his proper senses would continue to kick such a football at the expense of getting his leg bitten off. The keeper also confessed that whenever an Indian fired a shot at him the ball would transform into the head of a roaring lion. The spectators confirmed this with the report that he always dived in the opposite direction of the shot. To lend credence to this theory, the proponents of this school of thought also claim that the players on many occasions complained to the referee (who many believe to be a Sudanese) about this curious development. The referee, being a citizen of a country where such complex technology was unheard of, refused to believe their complaints, and ordered the match to go on.

SuperEagles2The two schools of thoughts reunite at the point where the game almost ended. By this time, India had already spelt the names of all forefathers of Lord Lugard down to the time of Abraham. Here Historians agree that a courageous Nigerian striker (he should be given a post humous award of Member of The Order of The Niger for his bravery) risked the roaring lions’ head and fired the ball into the net. The ball turned into stone just before he did so, but he nevertheless went ahead to kick it and he dropped dead just after the he saw the ball go into the net.

Of course, there have been speculations as to the identity of the player who scored this heroic goal.  The younger and more ignorant generation believe that this was the handiwork (rather, legiwork) of the Late Nigerian Striker Samuel Okwaraji who was the first Nigerian to die in action on the field. After a careful and detailed examination, I have come to dismiss this theory because it is common knowledge that Samuel Okwaraji died in August 1989 at the same National Stadium Surulere during a World Cup qualifiers game against Angola.

The second and more credible theory as to the identity of the courageous striker is that the shot was fired by none other than Teslim ‘Thunder’ Balogun who was well known for his shots which was rumoured to have torn the goal posts many a time. His left leg was so powerful, that the British Government paid him a large amount of money to prevent him from using his left leg to fire shots during football matches. He could only use it to run and pass. Remember that one of the preconditions of this match was that if the Nigerian team managed to score a single goal, they would be declared the winners of the match. It was with this in mind that Thunder Balogun broke the terms of his contract with the British Imperial Government (wait oo, imperialism in the 1970’s?) and used his thunderlicious left leg to tear a shot into the net with the ball-cum-stone (dirty minds, check the dictionary for the meaning of cum).

Anyway, his bravery paid off and Nigeria won the match due to his lone goal. According to the legend, this match is the fundamental reason why India has been conspicuously absent from international football competitions. FIFA is afraid that they might employ the use of magical technology to manipulate their matches.

This brings us to the end of our lecture. . .

LOL! In case you’re wondering, I too heard of this legendary match. And I’m not even a soccer fan. #shakingmyhead

Leave a comment


  1. chika

     /  November 21, 2013

    Am laughing my head off….this is hilarious!

  2. Michael

     /  November 21, 2013

    Ah! Which kid in the 90s didn’t hear of that legendary match? Even coop birds like us heard the tweets

  3. Chinweike

     /  November 21, 2013

    Two words : Humor and Nostalgia. I actually believed this story at some point, but then I grew older my skepticism grew as well, I’ve googled far God knows how long and still haven’t seen a plausible depiction of the match, all are more or less the same as the story here. I’ve decided to lay off my search for the truth about that match and to look just back at the story as what it is, an essential part of our journey from childhood to adulthood, looking back at them with fond
    memories and laughter

  4. Yes o! Crazy match!

  5. Edeeth

     /  November 21, 2013


    Me na Sam Okwaraji I hear oº°˚!! Brave man I tell ya! 😀

  6. mesi

     /  November 21, 2013

    Lools. Its amazing how a single fake story can spread throughout the whole nation. The person that told me that story added a few frills to it. And to think that I believed it.

  7. Yemie

     /  November 21, 2013

    I heard about this ‘myth’ as well. I wouldn’t put it past the indians sha o; they are well known to have more deities than their human population. A lot of ‘voo-doo mumbo-jumbo’ going on in that country.

  8. Izuchukwu

     /  November 21, 2013

    I first heard the story in my primary schoo. very funny though

  9. LOL. This was ridiculously hilarious biko!

  10. Melexa

     /  November 21, 2013

    I heard about this ‘myth’ too (since I’m certainly not an ajebo whose father steals millions of naira and hide in Swiss banks). And to think that I actually believed it and worse still got emotional over dear old Sam Okwaraji dying after kicking the lion-head *eyes rolling* how gullible I was! Nice one.

    • Loool.. thank God you are not an Ajebo whose father steals money and hide in Swiss banks. Sam Okwaraji died in an entirely different situation.

  11. Excellency

     /  November 21, 2013

    Totally relate to this story 😀 , person wey no gree say na true, oya tell us why India no dey play ball all dat time?

  12. Nwukabu Danjuma

     /  November 21, 2013

    I heard this story either from an aunt or uncle and I foolishly believed. That was around the time when my uncles and aunts used to tell us that if we eat fish head we will pass and when we eat we should jump so that the food will enter our legs. At the time I also believed that babies were born with clothes.
    Now that I think about it, I must have been a pretty dumb kid.

  13. My entire childhood went down the drain the moment I realised Okwaraji actually died against Angola, and India had been banned from football since 1959 or so. And this sir, was hilarious.

  14. anderson

     /  November 21, 2013

    Me I heard twas a palmhead, all prickly and stuff. Lwtmb4h!

  15. bezi

     /  November 21, 2013

    Haha I heard the story ooh. buh did not get it in details like dis. lwkmd.

    Nd I did believe it den.

  16. Cassie

     /  November 21, 2013

    Lol yeah I heard that story too… Wasn’t that when they banned India from playing soccer??

  17. Tried commenting on Nonso’s blog but couldn’t. If you never heard this story growing up, please go and look for your true roots because you aint Nigerian.
    Awesome story telling, Nonso.

  18. kachi

     /  November 21, 2013

    OMGush! Cant stop laughing. Reading most of the comments here is another comic thrill. How would I ever forget that story?

  19. The legend of thunder balogun…i heard the second version…
    The writing is so hilarious and fluid

  20. Adeline Kasper

     /  November 21, 2013


  21. This is so so funny. I heard this story way back then from an aunt that lived with us. I actually heard the second school of thought that the ball changed to a lion’s head neva even knew there was another school of thought. That aunty eh can tell us plenty things sha. lolz

  22. Ini

     /  November 25, 2013

    lol. I even heard the ball changed to needles and moved like a school of fishes towards the Nigerian goal


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