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Did Juju help

Selay M. Kouassi/AfricaNews.com/Twenty Ten

A feature from the Soccer World Cup 2010: Ghana

The use of Juju, or magic, is widely practiced in African football, to help teams gain the upper hand. But does it work?

Date: 20090907

“Juju is a part of our tradition and its practice is common in our national team and our clubs. I have played for a long time. As a player, our managers took us to some secret places, to perform rituals, to find ways and means to achieve success”, confessed Kofi Bruce Williams, the ex-goal keeper of Accra Great Olympics. I was sitting with him in his home in Accra ahead of the FIFA World Cup qualifier between Ghana”s Black Stars and the Sudan. “Actually, football is supernatural. It is more supernatural than natural”, added Williams who is now coaching “Great Horizon”, a third division club in Accra.

The influence of Juju on football still fuels debate, generating much emotion on the eve of major games like the World Cup qualifier played at Ghana”s Ohere Djan stadium in Accra two days after I met Williams. The practice certainly keeps football lovers talking.

Given the popularity of both football and traditional spiritual beliefs, it is logical that the two would go hand in hand. When it comes to football matches, rituals are performed to get the edge over opponents and they differ from one witchdoctor to another.

Boko Adjod Aghenu, a renowned juju man who I met at his shrine 48 hours before the Ghana-Sudan match, says he has been supplying...

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