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Potency of Witchcraft

Bongben Leocadia Jisi/ Twenty Ten

Location: Yaoundé, Cameroon

The use of witchcraft in football.

Associated Features: Muti or Technique?(Text Feature) African magicians (Text feature), Gris-gris en Afrique du Sud (French text feature), Ways and Means (Photo feature), Did Juju help? (Text feature) and African magic and football

The phenomenon of witchcraft in football resurfaced as a hot topic of debate in the Cameroonian media after Cameroon were eliminated from the 2010 World Cup. This situation has whipped up doubts as to the potency of witchdoctors who were part of the Cameroonian delegation.

During the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, one of Africa’s supposed strongest contenders, Cameroon, had a strong team of witchdoctors in their delegation. However, the Indomitable Lions were one of the first teams to be sacked from the competition.

In the aftermath of their elimination, many Cameroonians joined in what has become a national debate on the Lions’ failure to proceed to the second round.

In the streets of Yaounde and in drinking spots around the government ministries, there is passionate debate on why the government allocated huge sums of money to the players, staff and a number of witchdoctors in the delegation, only for them to put on a poor performance.

The debate even reached the Cameroon National Assembly at the end of its June session. During the heated plenary session, Hon. Abakar Mahamat from the Logon and Shari constituency of the far north region, expressed the bitterness of Cameroonians....

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