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Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Ian Dunn
740678.  Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:28 am Reply with quote

A football match between Basanga and Bena Tshadi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in October 1998 end in perhaps the worst result in any sporting match.

During the match there was a lightning storm which killed the entire Bena Tshadi team, but which the Basanga team survived unscathed.

The Guardian wrote:
"What is the largest number of game-ending injuries to have occurred to a single team during a match?" enquires Bob Sedlak.

The tragic case of Bena Tshadi in the Democratic Republic of Congo apparently holds this unfortunate record, Bob, after a truly freak blast of lightning wiped them out mid-game. Back in October 1998, Bena Tshadi were drawing 1-1 with visitors Basanga in the eastern province of Kasai when a true bolt from the blue struck. "Lightning killed at a stroke 11 young people aged between 20 and 35 years during a football match,' reported the daily newspaper L'Avenir in Kinshasa. The account added that while 30 other people received burns, "the athletes from Basanga curiously came out of this catastrophe unscathed."

Immediately, accusations of witchcraft arose; many teams across central and western Africa are known to employ the services of witchdoctors to put curses on their opponents. "The exact nature of the lightning has divided the population in this region which is known for its use of fetishes in football," added the newspaper. However, there has never been any official confirmation of L'Avenir's report as much of the area was stricken by civil war.

This isn't the sole instance of lightning striking a football match, however. Just days before the Bena Tshadi incident, a South African Premier League game was abandoned after seven players and the referee were sent sprawling to the turf. As a Guardian report from the time explained: "Two players from Moroko Swallows were kept in hospital but the coach of opposition Jomo Cosmos hinted that some Swallows players had faked injury. 'Our observation was that only two players were seriously injured but more fell down,' he said. The Swallows were 2-0 down with 12 minutes to go."

Sources: The Guardian and BBC

Sadurian Mike
740706.  Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:23 am Reply with quote

Ian Dunn wrote:
end in perhaps the worst result in any sporting match.

Apart perhaps from the 1969 El Salvador - Honduras match which resulted in a war!

That lightning thing is freaky, though. I wonder if it came down to metal or plastic/nylon studs?

740736.  Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:58 am Reply with quote

What makes you think that it travels down?

Sadurian Mike
740754.  Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:45 am Reply with quote

Nothing. Studs act as conductors for electricity going up as well.


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