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Opinions of Thursday, 12 October 2017

Columnist: Ghana Soccernet

U17 World Cup-The mythical story of India vs Ghana that refuses to go away

It is said that truth is stranger than fiction and that the fiction has to make sense to make it seem plausible.

Fictitious stories in the world of football have been heard on numerous occasions but a myth which will be conveyed in this story will absolutely blow your mind and at the same, leave you in splits. And this one features none other than the Indian football team! It is related to India and Ghana, the two nations which are set to clash tomorrow in the FIFA U17 World Cup.

In Ghana, a myth surrounding India and the African country has been passing on from generations to generations. It is believed that every young football fan growing up in Ghana has heard this story at least once in his growing age. Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts as this story may be the most surreal football myth that you have ever come across.

The legend has it that India and Ghana once played a football match, the date and the venue for this game being as irrelevant as logic in this story. The match ended with an astonishing scoreline of 100-1 in the favour of India. BUT, the winners of the clash was the Ghana team! Surprised? Perplexed? Wait, this is just the beginning!

According to the myth, the Indian team was aided by some mythical powers/black magic which helped them to score 100 goals. It was believed that the mythical forces were strong enough to transform the ball into various unimaginable objects. The football, it was believed, took the shape of a three-headed lion and also that of a spiky chunk of a palm tree to get the better of the Ghanaians. This is what made the Ghanaian goalkeeper let in 100 goals in 90 minutes.

But to offer some respite for Ghana, they received a penalty just at the end of the match. Various versions of the myth have mentioned various names on who took the penalty in that match. Some say it was Shamo Quaye, some mention Baba Yara or some say the name of former Ghana international, Wilberforce Mfum but Quaye's name is mostly used in this legend. The Indians then warned the player not to take the penalty and threatened him of repercussions if he did so.

The patriotic Quaye did not pay heed to Indians' threats and stepped up to take the penalty for his country. Magically, the ball had been transformed into an XXL-sized aluminium cooking pot by the time Quaye was going to take the spot kick. The player hit it with all his might and ultimately scored for his side but shockingly died as soon as he scored, just as the Indians had warned him about.

The myth says that Quaye's death did not go in vain as the rules for this game had suggested that even if Ghana score a solitary goal then they will be judged as the winners of this fictitious game because that's how strong the Indian team was! To continue the shockers in this story, on one side, the Ghanaians were carrying Quaye to the cemetery whereas the Indian team disappeared from the ground courtesy of a bottle in the centre circle.

This story is also told in Nigeria with the Ghanaian team being replaced by the Nigerians and Quaye being replaced by Segun Odegbami, minus the death part as Odegbami is still alive and kicking.

This popular football myth is still popular in Ghana with young, impressionable minds considering it to be the truth. However funny you may find this story, you have to give credit to the creator of this legend. What imagination! (He could have had a flourishing career in Bollywood).

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