Only few people may have noticed the preponderance of Africans in the Chelsea’s 1-0 away defeat of Fulham on Saturday.
One of such eagle-eyed observers is Dr. Wiebe Boer, author of ‘The History of Football in Nigeria.’
Perhaps no English Premier League match in recent history lined up such a high number of Players of Nigerian and African parentage.
As Sports Village Square checks reveal, five players of Nigerian roots were among the 12 Africans that featured in the Premier League game.
Four players of Nigerian parentage were in the losing Fulham side while another one, Tammy Abraham who has committed his international career to England played for Chelsea.
In the Fulham were Tosin Adarabioyo, Ola Aina, Ademola Lookman and Josh Onomah. Of the quartet, only Aina, who came in the 83rd minute features for Nigeria. Josh Onomah who was substituted in the 79th minute by Portugal’s Ivan Cavaleiro is committed to England just like Adarabioyo and Lookman.
Apart from the five Nigerians on the pitch, there were seven other Africans making a total of 12 – making the match an African-dominated tie.
In the Fulham squad was Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, a Cameroonian. Aboubakar Kamara also featured. He is a French player of dual African origin. He is of Mauritanian and Senegalese descent. He came in the 83rd minute for Jamaica’s Booby De Cordova-Reid.
Kenny Tete who played in the defence for Fulham was born in Holland which nationality he claims, but has a Mozambican father and Indonesian Mother.
Chelsea had in goal, the Senegalese Edouard Mendy. Liakino Ziyech of Morocco also played in the entire duration of the game.
Ghana had Callum Hudson-Odoi who played for 75 minutes. Kurt Zouma, a French player of Central African Republic decent sat on the bench for Chelsea.