In a shocking revelation, a former Ingwe player has disclosed persistent witchcraft practices in local football,
Former AFC Leopards defender Tedian Esilaba has made a startling revelation about the persistence of witchcraft in Kenyan football breaking a long-standing silence on a topic often dismissed by football authorities.
Esilaba's disclosure comes as a shock to many, especially in the build-up to a crucial match where his former team, AFC Leopards, is set to face the former Premier League champions, Tusker, in Machakos.
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In an eye-opening social media post, Esilaba, who parted ways with the Leopards at the end of the previous season, detailed his experiences with witchcraft in the game.
"Imagine on a match day, you're going for warm-up, and then you find eggs scattered across the field, each with your names written on them," he shared.
"Something will happen during that game, someone is bound to either bleed or get a funny injury. Also, you'll definitely concede a goal, either through a bizarre play or in the dying minutes of the game," he added .
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This revelation sheds light on practices often whispered about but rarely confirmed in African football.
The role of 'Juju' men, traditional witchcraft practitioners, is notable in these rituals.
They engage in various activities, from washing football jerseys in 'spiritual waters' to offering prayers to traditional gods.
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In some countries, players and officials are often seen using unique concoctions and powders, believed to influence the game's outcome.
At the start of a match, these powders are thrown into the air in a ceremonial fashion by a player or team official.
More subtle yet equally intriguing are the objects provided for goalkeepers to place within their goals and turf tapes worn around players' wrists.
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While wearing such an item does not necessarily imply participation in witchcraft, it symbolizes the deep-rooted belief in these practices within the football community.
Esilaba's journey in Kenyan football has been diverse and enriching.
Joining AFC Leopards in 2021 after a stint with Nairobi City Stars, he demonstrated remarkable versatility and adaptability, having previously played for Administration Police FC and Bidco FC.
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As AFC Leopards prepares for their upcoming match against Tusker, Esilaba’s revelations add an intriguing layer to the already intense rivalry.
While Ingwe, under coach Tomas Trucha, aims for another victory following a series of successful games, Tusker hopes to overcome their recent poor performances and regain momentum in the title race.