|Full name||Joseph Mwepu Ilunga|
|Date of birth||August 22, 1949|
|Place of birth||Belgian Congo|
Ilunga played for his country, then called Zaire, during the 1974 FIFA World Cup, where he became famous for running out of his team's defensive wall and kicking away a Brazilian free kick in the group match between the two nations (the final match in Group 2) before the ball was in play. He was subsequently cautioned, however, some commentators felt that he seemed oblivious as to what he had done wrong.
However, Ilunga has claimed that he was quite aware of the rules – as would be expected from an experienced player in a successful side – and was hoping to convince the referee to send him off. The intended red card would have been a protest against his country's authorities, who were alleged to be depriving the players of their rightful earnings. Zaire went on to lose that match 3–0. They also lost their first two matches to Scotland 2–0 and Yugoslavia 9–0.
Zaire were then the first sub-Saharan African team to qualify for the World Cup finals, however during the tournament the players discovered they would not be paid. "Most of the Brazilian players and the crowd thought that it was all hilarious, amateur act. I just could scream 'you cursed!' for all them, because nobody there knew the pressure that we was living".
Joseph Ilunga Mwepu still lives in DR Congo with his wife Jeanne Ilunga.
- Top 50 football moments (Accessed June 10, 2006)[dead link]
- "BBC Sport - Football - Zaire free-kick farce explained". BBC News. 2010-05-28. Retrieved 2013-11-15.
- Official FIFA match report (Accessed June 10, 2006)
- BBC Sport - "1974: Zaire's show of shame" (Accessed June 10, 2006)
- "Famosos por 15 minutos", FourFourTwo, número 3, janeiro de 2009, Editora Cádiz, págs. 62-65
- Observer - "Total recall " (Accessed June 10, 2006)
- The most extreme case of a professional footballer's ignorance of the game's most basic rules - The Guardian accessed 23 March 2006.
- Mwepu Ilunga's defensive flair - YouTube
- Mwepu Ilunga – FIFA competition record