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Juju Controversy Rwandan football shaken by mysterious black magic incident

A 'juju' incident that occurred within the Rwandan top flight has forced authorities to enact laws to combat the culture of black magic within football.

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play Moussa Camara of Rayon Sports planting what seemed to be a juju charm on the goal line of opponents Mukura Victory

In the 39th minute of the Rwandan National Soccer League game between Rayon Sports and Mukura Victory Sports, striker Moussa Camara latched unto a cross from the left with his head, the ball bouncing off the crossbar. It was close. Hard luck.

This was on December 16, 2016.

READ ALSO: Juju Rwanda FA invites members to discuss witchcraft in football

Camara's side, Rayon Sports, were a goal down, and his attempt at goal would have pulled them even. But it wasn't to be.

Probably believing that his miss was as a result of something that is more than meets the eye, Camara resorted to do something equally out of the ordinary to counter it: In the 45th minute, feeling frustrated by the futility of his team's attempts at getting an equalizer, he rushed unto the goal line of Mukura Victory and seemingly picked up something believed to be a juju ('Black magic') charm stifling Rayon Sports' efforts at getting back into the game.

Following this, he was chased by the goalkeeper and players of Mukura Victory, who suspected foul play after seeing him furtively encroaching on their goalpost area.

Camara managed to escape the furious chase of the Mukura players, sprinting his way to the touchline, where he was seen handing over whatever he had picked from the goal line to his teammates to dispose of it.

This bizarre incident expectedly sparked confusion.

READ ALSO: Kagame Uganda genocide cartoon sparks anger in Rwanda

But, whatever it was, it seemed to work for Camara and for Rayon Sports.

Seven minutes later, Camara rose high in the Mukura Victory penalty box, in a chance strangely similarly to the one had hit the crossbar in the 39th minute, to meet a cross with his head. The ball flew into the goal.



The game ended with the same score line, a crucial draw which meant Rayon Sports had maintained their place at the top of the Rwandan National Soccer League.


Of course, Camara's mysterious yet decisive act, apparently one of many prevalent within the league, became a cause célèbre in the Rwandan sports media after the game.

So much so that it forced the FERWAFA (Federation of Rwanda Football Association) to finally act on the notorious African football bane that is 'juju' (the use of dark spiritual or supernatural means, otherwise known as black magic, to influence football matches).

Henceforth, the authorities said, any player seen to take part in juju, which they referred to as "witchcraft", will be slapped with a fine of 100,000 Rwandan Francs (equivalent to around GH₵525, £99 or $122).

Again, any club found to being involved with the practice of juju will be fined 2.9million RWF (about GH₵15,200, £2,900, $3,550), in addition to a deduction of three points.

READ ALSO: Kingsley Owusu Achiaw Bechem United President: There is no juju in football

Vedaste Kayiranga, vice president of FERWAFA, in explaining the decision, said: "In statutes we don’t have any law punishing the use of witchcraft because there is nowhere in the world where it has been proven that it can influence the outcome of a game. However, with the violence between players because of allegations that one team is using it, we have decided to enact laws."

play Vedaste Kayiranga, Vice President of FERWAFA


Meanwhile, Jimmy Mulisa, a former Rwandan international added his voice to the conversation: "It is sad that we still have such beliefs in our football," he said.

play Jimmy Mulisa, former Rwandan international


"It does not only give a bad image to the country but kills football development."

What are your thoughts on this issue? Well, you can watch the controversial video yourself below and make your own judgement!

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