JUJU STORM

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport -

goal from point blank range.

Af­ter sev­eral such misses, some High­landers’ play­ers kept go­ing to “re­move things” that Mutare City goal­keeper Philip Nhete had planted in his goal area.

Ag­i­tated Bosso fans in the Soweto stand re­acted by throw­ing bot­tles with urine, which is be­lieved to neu­tralise pow­ers of the muthi, af­ter their team’s strik­ers had missed a num­ber of easy scor­ing chances.

They were con­vinced that the juju Nhete had planted be­tween his posts made Bosso strik­ers aim for an imag­i­nary goal each time they broke through.

High­landers’ de­fender Peter Muduhwa was at the fore­front of “re­mov­ing” the juju from Nhete’s goal area out of frus­tra­tion af­ter his side had missed a num­ber of gilt-edged chances.

Muduhwa de­fended his de­ci­sion to “dig out” some muthi wrapped in a red cloth, which he threw into the Soweto stand where fans tried to burn it.

“Be­fore the match started, we saw the Mutare City goal­keeper putting some­thing at the Mpilo End goal and af­ter we lost the toss he ran and re­moved his things that he took to Soweto End goal. We pressed them and made sev­eral at­tempts on goal, but af­ter those near misses, I took it upon my­self to re­move what had been planted,” said Muduhwa.

The young de­fender said he wasn’t afraid that touch­ing the “muthi” could have af­fected his per­sonal per­for­mance be­cause he doesn’t be­lieve in magic pow­ers.

“I don’t be­lieve in juju at all, but at times those mind games can get the bet­ter of you if you are a player. I knew noth­ing was go­ing to hap­pen to me be­cause I don’t use muthi and from what I’ve heard, juju only af­fects those who use it,” said Muduhwa.

A Mutare City tech­ni­cal team of­fi­cial was in­volved in a fra­cas with a Bosso mar­shal re­sult­ing in po­lice in­ter­ven­tion af­ter run­ning to­wards Nhete’s goal area to per­form a sus­pected juju rit­ual.

An­other Bu­l­awayo side How Mine was also caught up in a juju storm in­volv­ing for­mer league cham­pi­ons Dy­namos at Ru­faro Sta­dium in Harare.

The gold min­ers found a lump of pork in a state of de­cay in their chang­ing room, which they be­lieved was juju used by DeMbare.

Kelvin Kaindu, the How Mine coach, said his play­ers were al­ways pre­pared for such in­ci­dents, which he con­demned.

“I felt it when I was pray­ing ear­lier on that some­thing was amiss in that dress­ing room and when we got to the sta­dium, we left the play­ers in the bus and went to check the dress­ing room. We found a piece of rot­ten pork and re­ported the is­sue to the match com­mis­sioner. The play­ers were de­layed for about five min­utes as we re­moved it and it’s un­for­tu­nate that a team like Dy­namos could stoop that low,” Kaindu said.

How Mine went on to win the game 5-4 on penal­ties af­ter the two sides had dead­locked 0-0 in reg­u­la­tion time.

For the rot­ten pork found in the away team’s dress­ing room, Dy­namos will be charged by the PSL for breach­ing Or­der 17.2 of the league’s rules and reg­u­la­tions which reads: “Home teams must en­sure ad­e­quate and prop­erly cleaned dress­ing room fa­cil­i­ties for play­ers and of­fi­cials.”

The Mutare City of­fi­cial ar­rested for in­cit­ing the crowd at Bar­bour­fields is likely to face dis­ci­plinary ac­tion for breach­ing Or­der 17.7. the or­der reads: “Any in­di­vid­ual, player, team or of­fi­cial who in­cites vi­o­lence or who con­ducts him­self in an un­gentle­manly man­ner be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter the match shall be guilty of an of­fence and li­able to be brought be­fore the dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee for a hear­ing.”

Kennedy Nde­bele, PSL chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, said they were wait­ing for the ref­er­ees’ re­ports on both in­ci­dents.

“We stand guided by ref­er­ees’ re­ports as well as the PSL rules and reg­u­la­tions. The league doesn’t con­done un­sports­man be­hav­iour,” said Nde­bele. — @ZililoR

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