One of Nigeria’s tale-evangelists and founder of the Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN), Temitope Balogun Joshua, better known as TB Joshua, who died on Saturday 5 June, was known to have connections with sports.
His Synagogue is known to have hosted scores of sports personalities who visited on religious and medical tourism. Among such, albeit controversially was Nwankwo Kanu, Daniel Amokachi, Joe Lasisi, and others
It was reported that in 2009, TB Joshua started a football club, My People FC, as part of efforts to help the youth. Two members of the team played for Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets in the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Sani Emmanuel, who apparently lived in The SCOAN for several years, was Nigeria’s top-scorer and the tournament’s MVP. Emmanuel and his colleague Ogenyi Onazi signed professional contracts with SS Lazio and later became a key player in the Super Eagles from 2012 t0 2017.
So also was the case of WBO International Light Middleweight boxing champion King Davidson Emenogu who reportedly said that TB Joshua has financially supported him throughout his career and purportedly prophesied that he would be a world boxing champion.
He also had a sphere of influence in international sports. A Manchester United footballer, Angel Gomes of Brazil also went on medical tourism to TB Joshua’s Synagogue.
Gomes at Synagogue trended in Nigeria in May last year after a video of him being “healed” of his battles with injuries that threatened his career. The video was reportedly recorded in 2016.
“I am from a Christian family at the time my mum was a fan of the pastor, and she really wanted me to go,” Gomes said, defending his visit to the church. “I was going through some issues. From the outside looking in it looks crazy, but I was just practicing (sic) my faith.”
‘I didn’t really need to explain myself but a lot of people were asking me what the video was about.
Former Ghana U-20 midfielder, Gladson Awako, also revealed that TB Joshua contributed to Ghana’s 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup triumph in Egypt by offering the team prayers before each game and arranging the order of Ghana’s penalty takers in the final against Brazil.
Ghana became the first African team to win the FIFA U-20 world cup when they beat Brazil 4-3 on penalties after the game ended 1-1 after extra time.
“The coach usually made us speak to a man on the phone. He will put the phone on loudspeaker so we could all hear and then pray and do what he says,” Awako revealed in an Instagram live chat with YAC Media.
“Most of the things he said came to pass especially the final. He predicted that we will get an early red card and also told us how we will arrange the penalty takers.
“All that came to pass. Honestly I didn’t know who it was until we won the cup and they told us the man was TB Joshua.” Awako.
Ghana had a man sent off in the 37th minute when Daniel Addo was given his matching orders.
Eleven years later, member of the team, Awako, revealed TB Joshua predicted would have a man sent off.“ During the U-20 World Cup in Egypt 2009, we normally gathered around the centre to pray.”