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Soccer News of Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Source: thespoiler

Essien’s injury blamed on ‘family curse’

The Ghanaian FA ruled captain Michael Essien out of playing in the World Cup last week, after he failed to recover from a knee injury picked up in January. Since then, speculation has apparently been rife the Chelsea midfielder was crocked after being jinxed by his estranged father.

According to the South African Independent Online, many fans believe the injury was an act of payback planned by James Essien (despite him recently going on ‘hunger strike’ after hearing the news of his son’s injury):

James Essien, who lives in a mud house in rural Ghana and is in poor health, told [a Ghanaian newspaper] earlier this month that he has not seen his son for 15 years and attempts to contact him have been met with silence.

Belief in witchcraft is still widespread in Ghana - and many other African nations. More than a few fans said they thought the old man had used juju (a bad luck spell) to ensure his son would not play in the World Cup.

Magic has been doing roaring trade in South Africa, in the run-up to the World Cup. The South African Times reports traditional healer Thabang Khubeka, a regular supplier to West African footballers, has set up a stall in downtown Johannesburg selling ’squirrel grease’, which is rubbed onto feet to increase speed:

“A squirrel moves very fast. Like Wayne Rooney. To be like him, you need to use this oil,” says Khubeka. Squirrel fat, which is mixed with the roots of a tree and costs about 600 rand (78 dollars) for a course of treatment, is recommended both for footballers and people taking a court case - “because both have to dodge the defence.”

The Spoiler sniffs a plum marketing opportunity here, Wayne.