Juju in soccer debate resurfaces

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Harare - The decades-old debate of juju in soccer was rekindled last weekend when a dead bat was found at the centre of the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo just before hosts Cameroon opened the biannual CAF African Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament against Zimbabwe. 

The Zimbabwe Warriors, who went on to lose the match 0-1, came across the dead bat while warming up.

Zimbabwe coach Zdravko Logarusic - who says he has come across many stories of juju in his time in Sudan, Tanzania, Ghana and Kenya – went berserk when his players told him what was lying in the middle of the field.

He also said "Witchcraft in Cameroon, this is football..."

His comments continue to draw mixed reactions across the board with others condemning the use of juju in football, while others say potions and spells do not work.

This week, the Football Association of Zambia suspended goalkeeping coach for top-flight side Forest Rangers, Charles Chileshe, after he sprinkled an unknown substance and urinated, or simulated urinating, around the goal area of opposition side Prison Leopards at President Stadium in Kabwe before a FAZ/MTN Super Division tie. 

The match was played last weekend. 

FAZ described the act, believed to be influenced by the use of juju, as unsporting conduct which the association could not condone.

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