The Ghana Premier League witnessed the clash of clashes Sunday when the nation’s two largest clubs, Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko, went head to head at the Accra Sports Stadium.
The Phobians won the keenly contested clash via a controversial late penalty, but the entire game was fraught with incidents which fans have alleged to be ‘juju’ being utilised by the other side.
The game began with Kotoko players coming onto the field with their backs, presumably on the orders of their juju man.
Hearts players also stood at all corners of the field prior to kick-off – presumably ‘praying’.
The first fifteen minutes of the game was characterised by Hearts players falling like flies. Malik Akowuah, Alex Kouassi, Inusah Musah and goalkeeper Samuel Akurugu all mysteriously went to ground without any contact by an opposing player, spending a combined several minutes delaying play.
The prevailing theory is that Hearts were informed by their own ‘juju man’ that Kotoko would score early, and thus to prevent that, they were to delay play as much as possible until those first few minutes had passed.
The winning Hearts of Oak penalty, a controversial one which seemingly did not strike the hand of the Kotoko player, has also been labelled as a ‘spiritual penalty’.
It’s quite telling the level of the Ghanaian societal discourse, that not only are these two storied clubs engaging in this nonsense, but the entire population is discussing the use of ‘juju’ as if it’s a legitimate topic to talk about.
Superstition, in all facets of our life, is holding us back – and it’s a shame that what should have been the biggest game on the calendar has also been marred by this scourge.