In America we have a gentlemen's agreement that magic will not be used to gain an advantage in pro sporting events (although Belichick may be cheating). But not so in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where they're casting spells all over the place to try and win soccer games. And suddenly Terrell Owens' end zone antics seem so quaint and harmless. Eleven people were killed in a stadium riot when a soccer player tried to use witchcraft to win a local match.
Nyuki club was losing to local rivals Socozaki on Sunday when Nyuki's goalkeeper advanced up the pitch and tried to use "fetishist" spells to turn the tide of the match, Okapi said, without giving more details. When a police commander tried to break up an ensuing brawl between rival players, members of the crowd pelted him with rocks, the radio added. Police fired teargas in response, causing a stampede to the exits in which 11 people were killed and several injured, Okapi said.
This type of thing happens often in African soccer, apparently.
Two years ago in the Nations Cup quarterfinal in Lagos, Senegal, having taken an early lead, looked to be holding on when, 15 minutes from time, a former official of the Nigerian FA raced on to the pitch and seized a 'charm' that had been lying in the back of the Senegal net. Senegal protested, but to no avail, and Nigeria went on to score twice and win. The official was subsequently banned, but his action was seen as hugely significant in Nigeria's progress. This time around, Senegalese journalists insist they saw a marabout smearing goalkeeper Tony Sylva's post with an ointment ahead of the Lions' 1-0 victory over Zambia in the group stages. Sylva went 448 minutes without conceding a goal.
Before you judge, I'm sure that our practice of summoning Al Davis from the dead every Sunday seems strange and horrible to them. It's Witchcraft [Unprofessional Foul] Congo Riot Over Soccer Witchcraft Kills 11 [Guardian]