NEWS

Rwandan Football Player Uses Witchcraft Mid-Game, Scores Goal, Causes Massive Uproar

Is this one of the most bizarre incidents on a football field this year? Yes, it very much is.

29/12/2016 13:46 SAST | Updated 30/12/2016 10:00 SAST
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Mukura Victory striker Moussa Camara allegedly inserting some kind of talismanic object into the ground in the opposing goal.

Well, this is one for the books.

According to Goal.com the Rwandan football federation has taken the extraordinary step of banning the practice of witchcraft during matches after a bizarre — and hilarious — incident in a match between Mukura Victory and Rayon Sport on December 16.

Rayon were a goal down in the game when, just before the half-time whistle, the team's Malian international striker Moussa Camara appeared to insert something into the ground in the Mukura goal. Innocuous enough? Not in Rwanda. Pandemonium ensued as several opposing players chased after him in an apparent bid to punish him for his mischief. Rustled tempers were eventually calmed, and the game continued.

Fast forward to the 53rd minute, when a ball lofted into the Mukura area is met by a Rayon player's head. Goal! And you won't believe who scored the equaliser! Yeah, Mr Magic Potion himself.

As funny as this sequence of events might be, the use of witchcraft is actually a genuine problem in many African football matches. The question of whether or not it works is beside the point, because the suspicion of use is enough to create an unfavourable impression in the mind of the opposing team. As such, it can be considered to be cheating. Accusing a winning team of using witchcraft is a favourite ploy of losing sides for this very reason. Zamalek FC chairman Mortada Mansour accused Mamelodi Sundowns of using "magic and sorcery" after the Egyptian football giants lost the 2016 CAF Champions League final to the Pretoria side.

This sort of thing happens all over Africa. All of the time, though not quite as dramatically as in the Rayon Sport case.

In 2013, Caps United of Zimbabwe also caused a huge stir when they accused How Mine of using sorcery to try to influence the game.