TB JOSHUA’S BOYS OVERCOME IN CLOSE ENCOUNTER
Preaching the Gospel, healing the sick and delivering the oppressed apart, Prophet TB Joshua’s new football team ‘My People FC’ is making waves in the world of Nigerian soccer.
Impressive performances against both junior Nigerian National Teams, the Golden Eaglets and Flying Eagles, had landed ‘My People FC’ squarely on the Nigerian football scene, but their latest victory against Gateway FC has further solidified their reputation as a force to be reckoned with.
Playing out a closely contested match at The MKO Abiola Stadium in Abeokuta, Ogun State, on Wednesday 12th August, ‘My People FC’ gallantly fought to a 2-1 victory. Gateway, who finished 11th in the recently concluded Globacom Premier League Season, were evidently surprised at the talent, teamwork and tenacity of their opponents, and were on the defensive for major parts of the gripping match.
After an even first half, Olamide Lebi opened the scoring for My People with a fine strike on the back of a steady stint of pressure from the away side. Latching on to a long ball, Lebi beat a defender before tucking the ball away past the sprawling Gateway keeper, Henry Ayodele. The euphoria was short lived however as a scuffle down the opposite end resulted in a penalty for the home side, coolly converted to level the scores. Late in the second half, the in-form Lebi deftly slotted in a rebound from a free kick, a potent strike that proved to be the match winner. Despite frantic efforts from Gateway to even the scores in the dying minutes, My People’s defence stood strong, the upcoming youngster Yakubu Azeez playing a prominent role at the back. The Bodens BK of Sweden star, fresh from his foreign experience with the Scandinavian side, made a number of crucial tackles that proved decisive to My People’s eventual triumph.
Gateway’s Manager Gbenga Ogunbote applauded the efforts of ‘My People FC’, acknowledging that they were worthy winners and expressing optimism of the bright future ahead of them. Representatives of Otunba Gbenga Daniel, the embattled Governor of Ogun State, also witnessed the contest, praising the ingenuity of TB Joshua for assisting the youths in such practical fashion. Impressed by the exciting performance from his boys, TB Joshua splashed out a whopping N1m to the players on their arrival in Lagos. The boys were stunned, the majority of them coming from humble backgrounds with little or no hope of actualising their dreams of sporting stardom. That is, before they were connected to My People FC and met T.B. Joshua.
Famed for his extensive philanthropic endeavours, Joshua explained the team is just another way of assisting the less privileged in society, stating that by the time the talented boys achieved sporting success, they in turn would be an instrument of help to others. “I strongly believe the young shall grow,” he explained in an interview with Complete Sport’s David Meshioye. “They may not be there today, but the future of this country belongs to them. That is why those of us in the position to uplift them need to use every proper means to help them reach their future goals. It is not for them to pay us back when they sign a good contract, but to help themselves, their families, the needy, orphans and the less privileged. God wants to raise these footballers to help the widows and become a benefactor to those who need their help in future.”
Driven by the zeal to help and not the lust for money and material gain, the vision behind Joshua’s team has already drawn widespread commendation across the sporting world. “It is not for any monetary gain, it is all about soul winning through sports,” he emphasized, stating that no contract has been signed or fee demanded from the players, who come from across Nigeria and Africa, even comprising of different races and faiths. “All I want to achieve is for people to succeed in their career. This is what I was born for, it is what I am living for and it is what I am willing to die for.”
Calling on others to take a leaf from his book and help the less privileged in society, the famous Pastor poignantly stated: “Someone out there is waiting for you for a lifetime. You cannot afford to fail them; failing them is failing God. Remember, God is speaking to you through them, saying: ‘They are fatherless, so that you can be their father.’ ‘They are lonely, so that you can be their companion.’ ‘They are in want, so that you can be their benefactor.’ ”
On the heels of their remarkable victory, with two players set to represent Nigeria at the upcoming Under 17 World Cup and a man behind them ready to go any length to ensure their success, the future of My People FC is certainly bright.