11.07.2004 Sports News

Juju takes center stage at Accra Stadium

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Accra, July 11, GNA - Superstition took center stage at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday where one of Ghana's three representatives in the CAF Confederation Cup - Hearts of Oak - clashed with A. S. Douanes of Senegal in the first leg of the 1/8 final. It also serves as the final eliminator to the money zone. The juju drama started minutes before kickoff when Dounese's tall and lanky goalkeeper Babaca Ndiaye went round the goalposts before planting an object which fans believed was juju in the posts. A Hearts official quickly tasked two ball boys to remove the object, which many thought, was to hypnotize Hearts players and also to prevent the ball from entering the net. But the goalkeeper spotted the boys as they tried to execute the task and subsequently reported them to the referee who ordered them to move away. The issued became more worrying just at the start of the second half apparently due to the fact that Hearts were unable to find the net. In a dramatic fashion, Hearts officials kept a close eye on the goalkeeper from the touch line and just as he was about to enter the pitch, his teammate gave him an object which he quickly put into his mouth and later dropped in the goalposts. And after several unsuccessful attempts by both players and ball boys to remove the item, an ardent fan from the Popular Stands scaled the inner fence and ran onto the pitch. He raced into the visitors' goalpost and removed the juju unchallenged and quickly dashed out of the inner perimeter. The incident led to a brief hold up as officials of both teams and their players challenged each other verbally. And when played resumed, the Senegalese players were occasionally called during stoppages to the touch-line to smear some concoctions onto their boots and stockings. Hearts were however, rewarded with an injury time goal to set the stage for a crack second leg in Senegal in a fortnight.

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