The Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) is taking steps to put an end to what some believe is witchcraft working its way into soccer matches. New rules have been put in place to punish clubs, managers and/or players adjudged to engage in the practice, per reports.
The decision comes on the heels of an incident earlier this month in a match between Mukura Victory Sports and Rayon Sport. Rayon striker Moussa Camara, whose team was losing 1-0, apparently hit the Mukura Victory Sports woodwork on a shot attempt. Footage showed Camara running over to the post and appear to place an object down, much to the opposing goalkeeper’s chagrin.
The whole scene was crazy, as Camara bolted away as his opponents lashed out at him. He earned a yellow for the act, but the wildest part is Camara scored an equalizer a few minutes later. Whether witchcraft was behind that or just regular old skill is up to the individual to decide. What has happened, though, is that FERWAFA won’t stand for it anymore.
Coaches and players and can face steep fines and bans if found guilty of using witchcraft, per the Rwanda New Times. If a team is found guilty, they face a three-point deduction and a fine of 500,000 Rwandan Francs, or about $600.
Here’s FERWAFA vice president Vedaste Kayiranga via the New Times:
Since there is no scientific way to prove the use of witchcraft, these measures will base upon reports from match officials and anything that is deemed to incite witchcraft will be put under consideration.
So, it looks like players will have to rely on pregame superstition to give them the edge now.
Upon further review, it appears Camara was actually trying to reverse apparent witchcraft performed by the goalkeeper. This extended video shows Camara actually removed, not placed, an object near the goalpost.
Furthermore, the goalkeeper also received a yellow for his participation in the shenanigans. The video shows just how chaotic the whole scene was, with substitutes and apparently fans getting involved. If it didn’t make sense before why FERWAFA felt the need to address the whole witchcraft situation, it certainly makes sense now.