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Does Witchcraft Really Work in Football?

A 4-minute 48seconds video went viral last week causing a stir around the continent.

The footage features a derby clash Mukura Victory and Rayon Sports in the Rwandan Premier League. A particular player referred as Moussa Camara stole the show. His team were trailing a goal down. Upon seeing his three attempts on goal rattle agonisingly on the wood work, Camara, convinced his failure to score is the work of magic, took matters into his own hands, throwing a charm in the opponents’ goal post before scoring moments later.

Not that the charm aided Moussa to score but the short distance between the time he casted the spell and his goal timing -20 seconds –was what had tongues-wagging.

Under pressure, Rwandan League organizing Committee -who have given little prominence to the age-old act, perceiving it as unable to influence outcome of a game –have been forced to enact laws banning witchcraft in football after seeing players fight over spell-casting in the pitch.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“In FERWAFA (Federation of Rwanda Football Association) statutes, we don’t have any law punishing the use of witchcraft because there is nowhere in the world where it has been proven that it can influence the outcome of a game. However, with the violence between players because of allegations that one team is using it, we have decided to enact laws,” [/perfectpullquote]

the Ugandan FA says in a statement.
The game ended one-all after Camara’s goal.
It is not uncommon at the length which people in football –players, coaches and even supporters –go to in desperate bids to win games.

From bathing with prepared holy waters to sipping portions of urine mixed with substances, throwing row eggs and, in the most bizarre of all, to burying live goats to deter opponents from scoring –football has seen it all.

But the million dollar question lingers whether witchcraft can really influence outcome of matches.

Of course no one manager or player has come out plain to admit the dark-age art can affect matches.

Months ago, a similar issue dogged Gambian football but not as huge of a buzz compare to the attention the Camara incident has garnered.

It occurred during a Super Nawettan game –the equivalent almost First Division in that country – in a make or break encounter featuring rivals teams Sukuta and Bakau.

It all started moments before Sukuta came from a goal down to overturn the thrilling tie to their favour against 10-man Bakau. Sukuta have had a couple of begging goal chances unbelievably rattling on the crossbar. While their strikers’ profligacy in front of goal left much to be desired, however, the rate at which they kept clattering strikes at the Bakau goal mouth without scoring had hundreds of spectator’s gob-smacked.

Murmurings of black magic at this juncture, soon began making the rounds and matters were not helped by Bakau goalkeeper’s antics to pass on a knotted juju to the in-coming goalkeeper after being sent off.

The particular net-minder got his marching orders for accumulating two yellow cards and rather reluctantly walked off the pitch before unfastening a knotted charm on his waist, on the pitch fringes, surrounded by members of the Bakau technical bench.

Sukuta a minute later scored to win the game 2-1.

Ducor Sports has obtained never before seen pictures of that controversial moment that had fans frowning over the casting of spells in the pitch.

Below are a collage photos chronicling that dramatic moment.

juju2The goalkeeper, flanked by his Bakau teammates, is consoled upon being told to leave the pitch.


juju3Still distressed, the net-minder walks off the Serrekunda East football park headed for the exit door.


Off pitch-bound, the Bakau goalie began from the starting lineup but sees his stay on the pitch shortened.


Immediately after reaching the pitch fringes, the red-carded net-minder is surrounded by Bakau’s technical bench for a reason you will get to see in the subsequent photographs.


The Bakau officials immediately get to work helping the surrounded keeper untie what visibly looks like a knotted rope in the presence of fourth female referee Jama Njie and a linesman.



 What very much appears to be a knotted string is being taken off the keeper to be passed to the waiting new goalkeeper with fourth referee Yama Njie seen in the background

Having changed keeper, Bakau would go on to concede two incredible goals leaving them with a solitary point in Group B following a goalless draw with Banjul in their opening tie.

This is not the first time cries of black magic is dogging Gambian football. Gambia senior team goalkeeper in 2012 against Algeria, was also captured on video pouring a substance-like content on Gambia’s goalmouth before resumption of play in a match the Scorpions later lost 2-1 at home.

Below is a video link of Gambia’s keeper juju practice before a full parked stadium.

No one report has emerged describing in glowing details how the use of spells has won a team a tournament. Yet still, witchcraft, as old as it might be, remain highly practiced which brings us back to the question does black magic really work in football?


Featured Photo: The Bakau goalkeeper is here seen lowering his head in disbelief after getting sent off for indiscipline(Courtesy of Ducor Sport, Sulayman Bah)

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