FLASHBACK: FIRST INTERNATIONAL MATCH INVOLVING A TEAM FROM NIGERIA

FLASHBACK: FIRST INTERNATIONAL MATCH INVOLVING A TEAM FROM NIGERIA

BY KUNLE SOLAJA

On this date 7 May 1935, what could pass as a first international football match involving Nigerians was played in Accra , Ghana (then called Gold Coast). It was a match involving a Lagos Selected side and Accra XI.

As a prelude, the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) founded in 1933 (not 1945 as erroneously being claimed) had their first Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 18 February 1934.

The president of the NFA, Henry A. Porter, told the meeting that an official from Gold Coast (now Ghana), Kitson Mills proposed a match with Nigeria.  But as only players from Lagos European and Lagos African clubs were available, Gold Coast suggested a Lagos versus Accra challenge instead.

Accra XI won 4-0. On the Lagos XI team were: Owolabi, Ikpeme, Eruobodo, Egbe, Iso, Philips, Moma, Nsa , Quist, Adewale and Oni who captained the team.

Earlier to the match, what could be considered the first international match on Nigerian soil was played at Ebute Metta, Lagos on Saturday 16 March 1935, featuring Dahomey (now Republic of Benin) and French Club of Lagos. The French nationals won 2-1.

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