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'I was just practicing my faith': Manchester United footballer defends prayer video

by Tola Mbakwe

Premier League star Angel Gomes has responded to an old video of him that's emerged online of him being prayed for by a Nigeria megachurch leader to be healed of his football-related injuries. 

Four years ago, Gomes (pictured above playing against Norwich City back in January) visited TB Joshua's Synagogue Church of All Nations for a service.

In the video, the football player says: "My name is Angel Gomes, I'm from Manchester. I'm sixteen.

"I've been having injuries around my hip and groin which have been affecting me playing. I also suffered an ankle injury not long ago which kept me out for a long time.

"These injuries were coming at hard times for me, times when I was having a breakthrough or times when I had to go to a tournament or playing games, these injuries would happen quite frequently.

"I play for Man United, I also represent the England national team under-17 level as captain. I've known about the Synagogue Church of Nations for a long time.

"As my family follows TB Joshua the prophet, my parents are big fans and we always watch your videos. So we thought it would be a good time for me to come and be touched by the prophet."

TB Joshua well-known in Africa and Latin America. His megachurch runs Emmanuel TV station in Lagos. 

He also has a huge following on social media with more than 1.65 million subscribers on YouTube. 

However, some deem him to be controversial due to making prophecies that don't come pass. Earlier this year he prophesied that the coronavirus pandemic would be over by 27th March, which proved to be false. 

After the controversial prophet prays and touches Gomes in the video , the footballer gave a healing testimony and was jogging, shaking his legs, and squatting showing there were no more signs of pain. 

"Don't doubt what you're feeling inside. Go with your heart and have faith, and when you need someone to look up to look up to God," he said in the video. 

On Tuesday Gomes tweeted that he had received a lot of questions about the video after it emerged on social media and said what the video showed is a normal occurrence for Christians. 

"Regarding the video that has come out from 2016. I am from a Christian family and at the time my mum was a fan of the pastor, and she really wanted me to go. I was going through some issues.

"From the outside looking in it looks crazy, but I was just practising my faith. I didn't really need to explain myself but a lot of people were asking me what the video was about.

"I was young at the time and if my parents thought something was best for me I would do it. There are far more important issues out there in the world we can tackle."

Gomes then added talking about his fellow teammate Marcus Rashford's campaign for the UK government to extend free school meal vouchers through the summer was more worthy of peoples' attention. 

His tweets were met with messages of support like English football legend Ian Wright replying "absolutely none of their business". 

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