The Nigerian cleric is set to become the newest owner of a football club in Ghana. Goal assesses how much of a football man he isFEATURE
By Nana Frimpong
Nigerian prophet and televangelist Temitope Balogun (T.B) Joshua has been a recurring theme in Ghanaian society for a while and, with his imminent capture of Division One side Wassaman United, he could be gaining even more grounds in a major field of national interest.
This comes in the wake of the failure of the Ghanaian club his ministry already owns, Emmanuel FC, to graduate from the Greater Accra Second Division League and the subsequent decision of Moses Armah Parker (Mospacka) - owner of Wassaman and, more notably, Tarkwa-based Premier League side Medeama - to 'gift' his lesser-known club to Joshua. Exactly what, though, does Joshua mean to the Ghanaian game?
Well, the healer-cum-philantropist first hit the consciousness of Ghana football in 2009 when he claimed an inspired hand in Ghana’s Under-20 World Cup victory. Eventually Sellas Tetteh, coach of that victorious batch of Black Satellites, duly confirmed that Joshua, indeed, had either prompted or guided certain key decisions made en route to that triumph. Of course, few Ghanaians were enthused by what they perceived as undue credit being given to Joshua yet the man had made his mark nevertheless.
That much has been confirmed in the fact that Joshua's purported involvement on the said occasion has
"The next time Joshua actually did feature in Ghanaian football was in late 2012 when he allegedly 'delivered' wife of Ghanaian goalkeeper Richard Kingson of a 'demon'"
The next time Joshua actually did feature in Ghanaian football was in late 2012 when he allegedly 'delivered' wife of Ghanaian goalkeeper Richard Kingson of a 'demon' that had all but ruined her husband's football career. True or not, that Kingson did find for himself a new football club only recently after two years of being without one seemed to give some credibility to Joshua's 'miracle'.
Joshua has indeed been mightily involved in African football in the last few years. For one, he supposedly predicted the conquests of Zambia and Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations of 2012 and 2013 respectively. Joshua’s SCOAN (The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations) has also been the site where quite a few African sportsmen have claimed to receive miraculous healing from devastating injuries, notable among them former Nigeria captain Joseph Yobo.
Then again, Wassaman would not be Joshua’s first experience as owner of a football club. Since 2009, the 50-year-old native of Arigidi has owned My People FC in Nigeria, an outfit that has produced Sani Emmanuel, Nigeria's topscorer at the 2009 U17 World Cup and that tournament's MVP, as well as current Super Eagles and SS Lazio midfielder Ogenyi Onazi.
Hopefully, then, the clout, wealth and miracle-working abilities of Ghana's latest club owner should empower Wassaman - the original Medeama - to make a return to the Ghana Premier League, some two seasons after they were relegated from Ghana's top tier.
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