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Sports News of Friday, 18 February 2022


Top five juju scandals that hit Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko

Hearts of Oak will play Kotoko on Sunday Hearts of Oak will play Kotoko on Sunday

Myth or reality, the notion of black magic widely known as juju exists in Ghana football. The perception that some supernatural powers can sway the result of matches in a certain direction has become part and parcel of Ghana football.

One aspect of Ghana football where the practice of juju allegedly reigns supreme is the build-up to Hearts of Oak versus Kotoko games.

Ahead of the game on Sunday, February 20, 2022, GhanaWeb contacted one of the sides to speak to their players as part of the build-up to the game. An official of one of the teams said: “the players can only speak after the game. You know it's Ghana football and a lot go into Hearts vs Kotoko matches so we want to keep the players away from the media”. This gives an indication of the seriousness the club in question attaches to some of these practices.

Over the years, there have been the display of spiritual machinations from either side and as part of GhanaWeb’s preview, we look at the spiritual angle of the game.

2019 NC Special Competition

Juju allegations hit Hearts of Oak after one of their players was spotted with an unusual band around the waist in a game against Kotoko.

Burkinabe national, Aboubakar Traore was seen with a certain band when he knelt in despair after Hearts lost to Kotoko in the semi-finals of the competition. Some supporters, however, mounted a defense for him with the reasoning that such items are common in Francophone Africa, and is usually spotted around the waists of most young men.

2005 CAF Confed Cup final

Some Hearts fans still take glory for their conquest over Kotoko at the 2005 CAF Confederation Cup final in Kumasi.

Coach Hans Dietar Schmidt's strange substitution of Charles Taylor is attributed to juju operations by fans of Hearts of Oak.

Legend has it that fans of Hearts picked a hair of Dietar Schmidt from a barbering saloon to perform the operations.

Start game with ten men

In one of the most bizarre instances in Super Clash history, both Hearts and Kotoko started the game with ten men.

It was a June 4 Cup match and with both sides receiving directions from their spiritual leaders decided to start the game with a man less than required.

Hearts, however, went on to win the game with 7-6 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

Sarfo Gyamfi snubs Rawlings

Kotoko’s Sarfo Gyamfi snubbed then head of state Jerry John Rawlings after he was directed by Kotoko’s spiritualist not to shake hands with him.

According to Sarfo Gyamfi, he was told that Kotoko would lose the game if he exchanged pleasantries with Rawlings.

The game however ended 2-2 and Kotoko beat Hearts 7-6 on penalties.

Kotoko change jersey at half time

After conceding two goals in the first half against Hearts of Oak, Kotoko returned from the dressing room in a new kit.

This incident which occurred in 1984 was informed by a caution to Kotoko by their juju man that the result would be worse in the second half if they didn’t change their jersey.

Kotoko, therefore, emerged from the tunnel in white kit instead of the red they wore. They still lost the game 2-0.