Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Church Ruined My Chance to Play for Man Utd

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Church Ruined My Chance to Play for Man Utd

Article excerpt

Byline: Jack Rivlin

A RETIRED semi-professional footballer who claims his faith ruined his chances of playing for Manchester United is suing the Baptist Church for [pounds sterling]10 million.

In a case reminiscent of the 2001 Billy Connolly film The Man Who Sued God, Arquimedes Nganga accused religious leaders of deceiving him "into following false beliefs".

Mr Nganga, 46, from Forest Hill, said he could have earned [pounds sterling]20,000 a week, despite never making more than [pounds sterling]200 a month in his home country Portugal's Third Division. He quit the sport aged 25 when he converted to the Baptist faith.

He said: "I could definitely have had a long career in the Premiership. I see many players playing today who I am not inferior to -- and perhaps even better than. Most midfielders are either defensive or attacking but I was both. I had something new." After converting in 1989, Mr Nganga spent 19 years as a "fervent evangelist", devoting his life to the Bible and abstaining from sex. …

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