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Page last updated at 15:33 GMT, Friday, 28 May 2010 16:33 UK

Zaire free-kick farce explained

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As Brazil lined up a free-kick just outside the penalty area, Zaire's Mwepu Ilunga was about to make World Cup history.

Sadly for him, and arguably for the reputation of African football, it was not because of great skill or ability.

Instead, Ilunga simply ran out of his teams wall and hoofed the ball out of sight, earning himself a yellow card.

Critics said it was an example of indiscipline in African football. And, with Zaire's previous result in the same tournament being a record 9-0 loss to Yugoslavia, the team have long been considered the worst to ever compete in the World Cup finals.

No nation from East Africa has ever qualified since.

Speaking to World Football, Ilunga says his stunt was no act of stupidity.

"I did that deliberately.

"I was aware of football regulations. I did not have a reason to continue getting injured while those who will benefit financially were sitting on the terraces watching."

He had hoped to have been sent off as an act of protest.

"I know the rules very well, but the referee was quite lenient and only gave me a yellow card."


In a special edition of World Football, Peter Musembi travels through Kenya, Ethiopia and DR Congo. Listen to the programme here .

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