Sports News Wed, 18 May 2022

Sleeping at cemetery, bathing with water from dead bodies: Former Sports Minister shares juju story

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In bids to win football matches, clubs, players and officials resort to all kinds of tricks and practises to get the edge over their opponents.

Some clubs and players are known to play the psychology game quite well before the match, others are renowned for being innovative with their pre-game tactics to give them an upper hand.

In Ghana, however, a commonly-known pre-game norm is the activation of voodooism (juju) to enhance a team’s chances of winning or player’s chances of playing well.

In an episode of Lifestyle TV’s Heart and Soul program which focuses on football and spirituality, a former Minister of Youth and Sports, Nii Lante Vanderpuye recounted how he was made to undergo certain rituals to help him and his club win games at the colts level.

He said that as a colts footballer, he and his colleagues were given certain instructions to execute and bolster their careers.

“I have had experiences before. I have slept in a cemetery before. I have bathed water that has been used on dead bodies before. I have eaten certain things, swallowed certain things before.”

“The worse part of it is that one day we were given stones to put in our boots. By 15 minutes into the game, we got blisters and sore so we could not even wear the boots anymore. Your toes are swollen so the ball comes to you and you can’t even kick it. And they say that, it is going to win you the match.”

Nii Lante Vanderpuye, however, decried the negative impact of juju on football, especially the footballers.

He is concerned that the practise by clubs and even national teams is destroying the country’s football and that it is important that something is done about it.

“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 issue of juju came out recently following Ghana’s poor performance at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

The post-mortem of the team’s performance-focused largely on the decisions of coach Milovan Rajevac and supposed juju machinations by some members of the playing body.

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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