Soccer News of Thursday, 14 July 2011

Source: Nurudeen Obalola

Nigeria Blames "Juju" For their loss

The captain of the Nigerian U-23 team, Kingsley Udoh, has insinuated that the use of black magic might have aided Ghana’s 2-0 victory over his side in Kumasi on Sunday.

The Black Meteors’ victory, won amid a tense atmosphere triggered by the attack on Nigerian players by Ghanaian fans on Saturday, booked Ghana a ticket to the All Africa Games on the away goals.

Udoh, who had a decent game as most of his colleagues folded under ceaseless pressure from the Meteors and Kumasi fans, said the Nigerian team went through great inconveniences in order to avoid getting harmed.

“We had to dress up for the game outside the dressing room because they scattered ‘juju’ (objects of black magic some believe can cause all kinds of harm) everywhere in the room and we didn’t want to touch anything,” Udoh told reporters on arrival from Kumasi yesterday.

“We had to be very careful because the Ghanaians were ready to do anything to win the match and you saw how they attacked us on Saturday.

“The whole situation affected some of my teammates and we could not play our usual game.”

However, the team’s goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai blamed his defenders and the raucous atmosphere for the goals he conceded.

The Kano Pillars keeper, who stood in for the injured Dele Ajiboye, said his defenders let him down in the run-up to the first goal, aided by the deafening noise in the stadium.