Sunday, November 30, 2014
World Cup '74 Portrait #200 (Mwepu Ilunga: Zaire)
graphite & putty eraser, with watercolour pencil/30x21cm
200 up for the Project in the form of a remediated image of Mwepu Ilunga, who was selected for representation in the FKS ‘Wonderful World of Soccer Stars World Cup 1974’ sticker album & also as a member of the Zaire squad for the Finals, where he went on to play in all three of his nation’s matches, becoming notorious during the closing minutes of the third, the 0 – 3 defeat to Brazil, for kicking away the ball as Rivelino prepared to take a free kick at the Zaire goal - not, as was at the time assumed, in an act of blatant ignorance of the basic rules & protocols of the game, but, rather, in protest at the Zaire players not being paid as promised for their efforts: rather than being merely cautioned, as he was by the referee, it had been Ilunga’s intention that he be sent off to emphasize his & his teammates’ point.
For all that the particular name didn’t register with me at the time, the incident certainly did, subsequently to become of those iconic World Cup moments.