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‘Black magic tarnishing African football’

ROBINSON KUNDA, Lusaka
PRESIDENT Lungu says black magic and superstitions are tarnishing the image of African football.
Lungu said in Lusaka yesterday when Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) president Issa Hayatou paid a courtesy call on him at State House that it is shameful that some teams still believe in black magic.
In reference to the incident that happened on Sunday during the Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations final at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka when a Senegalese player Ibrahima Ndiaye threw an object which was believed to be juju into Zambia’s net, the President said such behaviour should be discouraged.
Zambia beat Senegal 2-0.
“Superstitions and black magic bring shame to football. I watched on television and that was an embarrassing moment. Whether it was black magic or mind games, it brings football into disrepute. We should discourage that.
“Football is a fair game, everyone wants to win. We need to take stock of what is happening in football because black magic portrays African football bad. Some team went to the World Cup with sangomas but lost 9-0.
“Let’s encourage young men to believe in themselves. That’s what we are doing in Zambia,” Lungu said.
He said players need to be disciplined because football is about discipline.
And Hayatou said he had taken note of Lungu’s concerns over black magic.
Meanwhile, Zambia Sports Fans Association patron Peter Makembo urged African teams to believe in their abilities.
“It will be embarrassing if African teams will resort to using juju at the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea. Teams should prepare adequately for the tournament and not turn to juju to win games. The Senegalese behaviour should be a lesson to the four teams that will be representing Africa at the World Cup,” said Makembo, who is a pastor.
He also commended President Lungu for rallying behind the junior Chipolopolo.
Zambia, Senegal, Guinea and South Africa will represent the continent in South Korea.

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