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09.06.2003 Football News

Ghana's Group: Rwandans party after "juju" win

By BBC
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Rwandans celebrated overnight after beating rivals Uganda 1-0 in an African Nations Cup qualifying match.

Ugandans claimed that the Rwandan goalkeeper used witchcraft during the match played in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.

About 10,000 people assembled at Kigali airport at 0100 local time (2300) on Sunday morning to receive the victorious Rwandan Wasps.

They included President Paul Kagame and Prime Minister Bernard Makuza.

Political victory

Relations between Rwanda and Uganda have been strained in recent years over the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The two former allies have clashed on several occasions on Congolese territory during the five-year DR Congo conflict, near the town of Kisangani.

From the airport the national football team, led by chanting and dancing supporters, matched to Amahoro national stadium.

On the way they used loud speakers to share their joy with those who remained indoors.

At the Amahoro stadium President Kagame addressed the excited crowd.

A BBC reporter in Kigali, Ismail Misigaro, says most Rwandans regard the win against Uganda as a political victory.

He says fans who joined the procession along the streets of the capital, Kigali, described the victory as "Kisangani phase two".

In Kampala, BBC reporter Jackson Oryada says the African Nations Cup qualifying match was marred by chaos and fighting over the alleged use of witchcraft.

Shock

Uganda's Argentine coach Pedro Pablo Pasculli, was sure Uganda lost to Rwanda because of witchcraft.

"The witchcraft scenario and fighting led to our loss," he said.

" I am still shocked by this witchcraft that I witnessed for the first time in my football career. I have played in South America and witnessed many things in football, but this was too much for me," said Pasculli.

"This witchcraft issue disorganised my whole team because they were so taken up and failed to concentrate".

As in the first leg in March in Kigali, Rwanda's goalkeeper Muhamud Mossi, carried a strange substance which he lit around the goal area.

This led to controversy, fighting and chaos, during which Rwandan goalkeeper Jimmy Gatete, and Uganda's Abubaker Tabula were injured.

The assistant referee, Ethiopian Lema Mesfin, was seen making the sign of the cross before removing the "juju" from the Rwanda goal area at the start of the second half.

However, the Ugandan coach says that he is confident his team will beat Ghana in their next match.

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