With guests from all over the world, Prophet T.B Joshua, the late and popular televangelist and founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), was laid to rest on Friday, July 9, 2021.
Prophet T.B Joshua, who died on Saturday, June 5, lived his life to significant impact.
As we celebrate his legacy, we look at how he impacted Nigerian football.
The late preacher was the financier and founder of My People FC, an amateur football club based in Lagos.
T.B Joshua founded to help talented young footballers, and he did that to great success.
My People FC has been the turning point for the lives of several young footballers, the most popular among them are former Super Eagles star Ogenyi Onazi and ex-youth international Sani Emmanuel.
Onazi had failed to make the Golden Eaglets squad before he came to Lagos to play My People FC.
After impressing in a tournament in Sweden, the midfielder made it to the Under 17 team and was part of the team that got to the 2009 U17 World Cup final in Nigeria.
From there, his career took off, playing for tons of clubs across Europe and becoming a regular player with the Super Eagles for several years.
Over the years, the midfielder has remained grateful to the late preacher for his career.
It was the same for Emmanuel, who was drafted into that Golden Eaglets team from My People FC and won the best player award for that tournament in 1999.
Donation to the Super Eagles
At the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in South Africa, there was a fall-out in the Super Eagles camp over unpaid wages, allowances and bonuses.
Coach of the team, the late Stephen Keshi had a crisis on his hands and with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) scrambling for a solution, Prophet T.B Joshua came to the rescue with a huge donation.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria went on to win the title, and several players were heard during the celebration expressing their gratitude to the prophet.
Prophet T.B Joshua paid attention to everything happening around the world and spoke about them. From the US Presidential election to natural disasters in Asia and even in football.
World football was stunned in the summer of 2020 with the reports that Lionel Messi was ready to quit Barcelona.
T.B Joshua, an avid football fan, joined the conversation. In an Instagram post, the famous preacher warned the Argentina star not to leave Barcelona.
In a post titled ‘My candid advice to Messi-TBJoshua’, he said, “It is not good advice for Lionel Messi to leave Barcelona bitter and offended. It is impossible to establish a healthy relationship with a person who left a previous relationship bitter and offended.”
He also regularly prophesied about the outcome of football games. Frequently T.B Joshua would foretell the result of big football games. Chelsea Vs Bayern Munich (2012 Champions League final) and several Super Eagles games.
He prophesied Nigeria’s win against Burkina Faso in the AFCON 2013 final, which the Super Eagles won.
Before then, he had also prophesied that the Super Eagles would not qualify for AFCON 2012.
“What I saw was not favourable towards Nigeria,” the cleric told congregants on Sunday, October 2, 2021, six days before the Super Eagles crucial qualifying match between Guinea, adding that he saw celebrations amongst the opposition and the team to ‘score first’ would qualify.
Guinea scored first against the Super Eagles in that game and drew 2-2 to get a qualification at the expense of Nigeria.
Ghana midfielder Gladson Awako in 2020 credited Prophet T.B Joshua for Ghana’s triumph at the 2009 FIFA U20 World Cup in Egypt.
Awako revealed that they spoke to a man who prayed for them and always predicted victory for them on their way to the World Cup title. After they won the title, they realised that the person there usually spoke to before games, was Prophet T.B Joshua.
Prophet T.B Joshua was famous for his miracles and healings, which he used to build SCOAN into what it is today.
People from all walks of life sought his healing abilities to solve long-term ailments. Footballers were not left out.
Super Eagles legends Daniel Amokachi and Joseph Yobo were reported to have gone to see the preacher because of injuries.
In 2016, Manchester United youngster Angel Gomes visited Prophet T.B Joshua to seek solutions to lingering injuries that were stalling his career.