Mwepu Ilunga

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Mwepu Ilunga
Personal information
Full name Joseph Mwepu Ilunga
Date of birth (1949-08-22) August 22, 1949 (age 65)
Place of birth Belgian Congo
Playing position defender

Joseph Mwepu Ilunga (born August 22, 1949) is a former football defender from Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). His name is also written as Alunga Mwepu.

Biography[edit]

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.[1] 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.[2] Zaire went on to lose that match 3–0.[3] 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.[4] "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".[5]

He played club football for TP Mazembe in his native Zaire.[citation needed]

Personal[edit]

Joseph Ilunga Mwepu still lives in DR Congo with his wife Jeanne Ilunga.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Top 50 football moments at the Wayback Machine (archived June 21, 2007) (Accessed June 10, 2006)[dead link]
  2. ^ "BBC Sport - Football - Zaire free-kick farce explained". BBC News. 2010-05-28. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  3. ^ Official FIFA match report (Accessed June 10, 2006)
  4. ^ BBC Sport - "1974: Zaire's show of shame" (Accessed June 10, 2006)
  5. ^ "Famosos por 15 minutos", FourFourTwo, número 3, janeiro de 2009, Editora Cádiz, págs. 62-65
  6. ^ Observer - "Total recall " (Accessed June 10, 2006)

External links[edit]