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Did India really beat Nigeria 99-1 in a football match? - Sports - Gistusmore.com | More Gist, More Insight

Gistusmore.com | More Gist, More Insight / Sports / Did India really beat Nigeria 99-1 in a football match? (295 Views)

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Did India really beat Nigeria 99-1 in a football match? by realeunice247: 06-07-2024, 08:02 AM
In one way or the other, a lot of Nigerians have heard about the legendary football match, the one between Nigeria and India where the latter allegedly beat Nigeria 99 to 1. That is India – 99, Nigeria – 1. Legend has it that before Nigeria scored its only goal, the balls were turning into different creatures (fire, lion, stone) preventing the Nigerian team from kicking them. Samuel Okwaraji, who later risked his life to score a goal for his country, lost his life in the process. Consequently, FIFA banned India from soccer. Although there are variations of the story, the central meaning remains intact.

This story has thrived for so long and for some reasons many people seem to have accepted it as true.

Nonetheless, gistusmore sought to research the topic and lay out the facts. We analysed the story and picked out the claims:

The Nigeria and India Match happened.?

FIFA banned India from the World Cup Tournament.?

Samuel Okparaji died after scoring a goal during the game.?

Was there ever a match like this?


A Keyword search revealed some articles suggesting that the match never happened. Also, we couldn’t find any footage of the event.

Was India banned by FIFA?


Recall that the story claims that FIFA – The Federation of International Football Association – placed a ban on India for displaying magic during the supposed match. While many still have doubts about the veracity of this claim, what seems to still validate it is the fact that India has been absent from the World Cup Tournament for a very long time. 

But why has India been off the radar? Our findings show that since the first World Cup Tournament was held in Uruguay 1930, India only qualified for the World Cup Tournament once – 1950. And this was because, with the only slots available from Asia, Philippines, Indonesia and Burma who also got the invites withdrew before the qualification round, leading to India automatically earning a spot. After a while, India also backed out and this exit has been a subject of controversy.

While some have said it was because FIFA has refused India to contest barefooted, others believed that the nation couldn’t afford to take its team to Brazil where the I950 Cup was hosted. However, The Sun attributed the exit to expensive travel costs and valuing the Olympics over the World Cup. Similarly, according to an India Times publication, Sailen Manna who would have led India in the tournament, said that the AIFF – All India Football Federation – did not take the World Cup as seriously as the Olympics. 

In 2014 during an interview with Indian Express, 88-year-old Ahmed Khan, the only surviving member of the 1950 Indian team stressed that “Had India participated in the 1950 World Cup, it would have had a positive impact on the development of football in the country. Playing against world-class footballers would have motivated us to improve our standards, which would have paved the way for younger players to emulate players of my era.”

In contradiction to the claim that India’s absence from the World’s Tournament scene was due to the acclaimed Nigeria vs India game and the alleged ban by FIFA, we found out that India had its chance once but did not take it and now, 70 years later, India is yet to play in the World Cup tournament.

How did Samuel Okparaji truly die?

A keyword search led to an August 12th, 2020 article by Nairaland suggesting that it’s been 31years since Samuel Okparaji died. Interestingly, a comment on the post linked the death to the Nigeria and India game as it sought for the veracity of the story. The article asked if the match truly happened or it was just a folklore. This further attests to the virality of the story and how much the name, Samuel Okwaraji triggers the ageless football story.

We have strived to get the raw fact about the whole story and myths told by our legends 

Put down a comment let's know how you were told the story

Author; real Eunice ✍️

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Did India really beat Nigeria 99-1 in a football match? by Gist Bot: 06-07-2024, 08:02 AM
This post was checked By @Gist Bot and approved by Moderators

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