Ghanaian footballer was sacked by Italian club for engaging in juju – Nii Lante

Former Sports Minister Nii Lante Vanderpuye has alleged that an Italy-based Ghanaian footballer was sacked by his club after he was caught engaging in voodoo.

Ghanaian footballer was sacked by Italian club for engaging in juju – Nii Lante

Although Mr. Vanderpuye fell short of naming the said player, he said the footballer used to be the last person to come out of the dressing room.

Speaking on LifeStyle TV’s Heart and Soul programme, hosted by Erasmus Kwaw, he said the Italian club was forced to sack the player after checking CCTV cameras and realising the player smears a strange substance on his body before stepping on the field.

“There was a situation a player has been sacked from Italy because he was dabbling in those things,” the MP for the Odododiodio Constituency said.

“And anytime they go to the dressing room, he will be the last one to come out because when all of them are going out, he had to put certain things on his body before he gets out. But there were cameras there and they caught him.

“There was another case in Belgium when a talisman fell from a player (goalkeeper) so he was trying to pick it up and a goal was scored.”

Allegations on the use of voodoo, locally known as juju, by Ghanaian and African footballers have usually dominated the headlines.

Mr. Vanderpuye said another Ghanaian footballer failed to perform in France when he was stopped from performing his rituals in Europe.

“The thing is so endemic. I have had a situation where a player who was sent out to France, a wonderful player, but because he was not allowed to do those things, his football career ended.

“Because he had believed so much in those things that he thinks without them there is no way he can play,” the legislator added.

Meanwhile, former President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Alhaji Mohammed Nurudeen Jawula, believes all clubs in Ghana practice juju.

In a 2021 interview on the Footprints show on Citi TV, the veteran football administrator disclosed that his father used to be the ‘mallam’ who handled Hearts of Oak’s spiritual dealings.

Explaining further, he said he has actually witnessed some South American teams chanting incantations before a game.

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