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