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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 16:58, August 06, 2006
Malawi extensively uses juju during football matches
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Kayira, who is now coaching Eagle Beaks Youth believes juju only has a psychological effect.

"I don't believe that juju works. It only plays a psychological role," he said.

Lilongwe based renown local herbalist Dr Moffat Moyo says he has been supplying juju to both local and foreign clubs but quickly points out that hard work and training are the best medicine.

"I can confirm that teams from within and neighboring countries and regions come to seek help but I cannot give their details. However, what I can advise is that hard work is the best medicine. The [concoctions] that we give only boost performance. I provide farmers with 'medicine' that boosts crop yields but if a farmer doesn't work hard, he won't realize bumper yields.

"If I provide 'medicine' to somebody, who has never practiced boxing, will that work against an experienced boxer? That's why I am saying one needs to put in extra effort other than waiting for juju to do everything," said Moffat in an interview.

Flames' German coach Burkhard Ziese says he is aware that most African teams believe in juju but adds he has not come across it during his short stay in Malawi.

"I haven't come across it here but in Ghana it was common. Officials could draw money from clubs on the pretext they want to pay a magician but end up putting the money in their pocket.

Most Super League officials and players contacted say the practice used to be very common in the past but is now dying out. "I would say the practice was very common in the past - both in national team and clubs - but now it has stopped after a realization that juju does not work. If juju works then the Malawi national team would have won the Africa Cup of Nations," said Big Bullets skipper Petros Mwalweni.

Silver Strikers' defender Itaye Nundwe said the issue of juju is no longer taken seriously at his club.

"We agreed to stop juju after struggling in most of the games in which we used juju." Investigations by the paper revealed the use of juju is encouraged by supporters and some club officials like team managers. Some of them perform the act without players' knowledge.

Source: Xinhua

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