Rwanda takes serious steps to eradicate witchcraft in football

Rwanda takes serious steps to eradicate witchcraft in football December 31, 2016

One of Rwanda’s top football teams, Mukura Victory Sports, above, were recently involved in an incident at a match in which they, and rivals Rayon Sport, accused each other of using witchcraft.
The Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA), acted swiftly, according to this report.
At an extra-ordinary meeting FERWAFA’s executive committee and all first division club presidents ruled that any coach found guilty of using witchcraft will be banned for four matches and fined Rwf200,000 (£200).
Player found guilty of using witchcraft will receive a three-match suspension on top of a fine of Rwf100,000 (£100) and teams engaging in witchcraft will lose three points and pay a fine of Rwf500,000 (£500.)
The new measures were announced early this week in the wake of last Friday’s incident during the league match between Mukura Victory Sports and Rayon Sport at Huye stadium which saw players on both sides clash over alleged use of witchcraft.

According to FERWAFA Vice President Vedaste Kayiranga, all present unanimously agreed that the perception of believing in witchcraft is a big threat not only to football development but also to the image of the country.
Kayiranga noted:

Since there is no scientific way to prove the use of witchcraft, these measures will be based upon reports from match officials and anything that is deemed to incite witchcraft will be put under consideration.

Hat tip: Trevor Blake

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  • Newspaniard

    Offenders will be burned at the stake which will normally be held in the central football field after church on Sundays under the close supervision of the appropriate bishop. Dress informal but pitchforks are expected.

  • L.Long

    There is no group (except maybe fisher men) that are more dimwittedly superstitious than sport players and their dimwitted fans!!!! And there is no real difference between the Rwanda players and those of any other country, they all believe in magic!!!

  • Broga

    @L.Long: I remain bewildered that fans, often on modest incomes, will pay £50 to watch multi millionaires playing football. They see the expenditure, often involving long and expensive journeys, as something unavoidable even if their families suffer as a result.
    The clubs and players seem to regard the fans with a lack of concern and take them for granted. The fans, scrimping to get the entrance money, happily accept that a player may be getting £100,000 a week.

  • barriejohn

    Some of us have been aware that Satan is behind some clubs’ extraordinary and unexplained success for a long time now:

  • barriejohn

    Broga: What gets me is the annual outburst of indignation and rage over the cost of shirts and number of new strips introduced. Evidently, the clubs send the heavies round with Tommy guns and FORCE the fans to buy the latest kit, so they have to comply. The most bizarre story was that of some poor woman a couple of years back who complained that her little boy had taken his old Man Utd shirt into the garden and set fire to it, so she had to buy him a new one. I can just imagine my own mother’s reaction if I had done anything similar; it wouldn’t have involved a spanking new shirt, but the spanking bit might have been right!

  • AgentCormac

    As for another form of superstitious claptrap, the number of footballers who cross themselves as they run onto the pitch and who raise their eyes to the heavens in gratitude if they have scored a goal is staggering. Have they not worked it out yet that god can’t want both teams to win?

  • I do hope the Hootsies and Tootsies don’t start massacring each other once again over this silly little football match. “Mubootó adédé kwazali qua-qua xu”, as they say in Timbuctoo. No truer words were ever spoken. As I was saying to my good fwend and former lover, Endora, only the other day: “In 1600, everyone believed in witches. In 1950, no one believed in witches. In 2016, everyone believes in witches once again–though not in the broomstick and black cat variety, of course. This just goes to show” I squealed, whilst leafing through an edition of the ‘Malleus Maleficarum’, (jointly written by Jacobus Sprenger and Heinrich Kramer, first printed in 1486, and also known as ‘The Hammer of Witchcraft’) “just how effing stupid humanity has become in these sadly dumbed-down times!” Endora agreed, of course.

  • Broga

    barriejohn: The clubs cynically change the shirts regularly to “force” the suckers to buy a new one. And the gullible fans pledge their undying allegiance to clubs composed of mercenary players and managers who move on when they get a better offer.
    The fans are pledging their allegiance to a fiction which doesn’t exist. Now, of what does that remind you?

  • If there were no winners or losers in football, if it were simply a game of skill with no goals scored, nobody would even bother to look at it. Also, if British football fans were born instead in the USA, for example, they would have no interest in the game but would instead be interested in baseball or basketball. Football appeals to the tribal instinct. Hence the crowds, the cheers, the fanaticism, the adulation, the hatred, the violence. We lone wolves treat it with the distain it deserves.

  • Paul

    how true and it grates every time I see it because sport is about ones own ability against a seemingly matched team or opponent – unless of course the other side have iron chariots – then of course the one with gawd is pretty much fucked.

  • Brian Jordan

    In Europe, at least, the whole thing is a fiction anyway. Maybe once upon a time the players were local people whom the punters could relate too. Now many of them are not even from the same country. Nothing but a money-making racket – handsomely funded by the UK licence payers too.

  • Football appeals only to fools. No more need be said on this subject.

  • Gary

    Witchcraft – this is the kind of stupid behaviours you get when you deny people a proper education (logic, science, thinking, maths etc) and expose them to supersticious religious nonsense.

  • Vanity Unfair

    [T]he perception of believing in witchcraft is a big threat not only to football development but also to the image of the country…
    Kayiranga noted:
    ‘[T]here is no scientific way to prove the use of witchcraft…’

    It seems that the Federation officials (or at least, some of them) are aware of the situation. On a strict reading of the statement there is no endorsement of witchcraft as a viable playing skill only that belief in it might cause trouble.
    Witchcraft in Central and Southern Africa often involves the use of body parts of rare, protected or endangered species and,sometimes,of people (although Homo sapiens as a species is neither rare nor endangered) and this prohibition might help save the lives of some of them.

  • StephenJP

    Of course, this silly sort of superstition could never take hold in the more rational world of Rugby Union. (Except among Saracens’ supporters, maybe).

  • Gary

    Robbie effing Williams at the BBC 2017 NY broadcast. Talentless gum chewing fucking numbskull money raking waster an insult to all with any semblance of humility and taste. I want to puke up.

  • Broga

    @Brian Jordan: Far from being local, the most successful teams are those who have access to enough money to bribe the most skilful players to join them. An example are Russian billionaires. That is money that is being taken from the people of their country – often poor – and which could be used to benefit them. We now have the bizarre offer, allegedly, of China offering £260 million to buy Ronaldo, a man approaching the end of his career.
    How different from the past when, for example, the late, great Duncan Edwards (a world super player on a par with Pele and Maradona,) lived in lodgings and cycled past the line of fans waiting to see the game. Bobby Charlton said Edwards who died at Munich was the only player who made him feel inferior.

  • barriejohn

    Broga: When I lived in Swindon I was amazed to find that scores of gullible idiots actually volunteered to act as stewards, programme sellers, etc, on match days. The pathetic football club was only kept going by regular cash injections from its dozy chairman, Cecil Green, who owned the local Rootes car dealership (remember them?), and the Arkell family, who owned the local brewery and also sat on the board. No prizes for guessing where all the money went! Which brings me to another point: how can it be right that a small club can be relegated or even forced to close because of debts of a few million, yet a “big” club like Chelsea is kept “solvent” by the injection of millions of pounds of some foreign billionaire’s fortune (over one billion, allegedly, in the case of Chelsea, mainly due to losses on the transfer market)? How come THEY are not “trading at a loss”? Someone please enlighten me!

  • Lucy

    I’m currently reading a book on the outbreak of ‘witchcraft ‘ in Salem in 1692. Fascinating stuff. How witchcraft answered all the questions, like why did hailstorms break my window?.. or indeed why did I miss that penalty?

  • Broga

    @barriejohn: I think football is being ruined as a professional game. Every yard counted, every pass failed or successful logged, players required to play to a strict formula. Referees harassed. And all to achieve success and money. The spontaneity has been sucked out of the game. And to top it all we have the nonsense of players crossing themselves.
    Commentators, sometimes failed managers, who spend hours watching replays so they can “spontaneously” unload their drivel in the late evening in return for £millions of licence fee money.
    I used to play amateur football and I agree with Pele that it is the beautiful game when the players play with freedom. You score a goal and ten other players are delighted, you form relationships on the field that continue beyond the game. Win or lose you used to shake hands with your opponents and often the referee. I loved playing but now I don’t even watch on TV.

  • Stephen Mynett

    “How different from the past when, for example, the late, great Duncan Edwards (a world super player on a par with Pele and Maradona,) lived in lodgings and cycled past the line of fans waiting to see the game. ”
    Broga, on a similar theme. Gloucestershire had a very good spinner called Sam Cook but public transport was poor and he lived a long way from the County ground in Bristol and, obviously, could not afford a car in the period he played (40s-early 60s). There was regularly an announcement towards the end of play at Bristol: “If there are any fans travelling back to Tetbury would they please offer Mr Cook a lift.”

  • Broga

    @Stephen Mynett : Lovely story that. These were the days when the fans and the players could mix and identify with each other. Interesting the way the excessive amounts of money unloaded on to players via manipulative and greedy agents still leave them dissatisfied. So many gamble to excess, get hooked on alcohol and other drugs and suffer from failed partnerships and marriages.

  • andym

    @ Broga. I was only thinking about something similar this morning. In the 70’s and 80’s there was a contrast between the commentating styles of Barry Davies and John Motson. I always preferred the laid back Davies, who gave you more an overall feel of the game, to Motson’s more intense statistically based approach. Now, such is the obsession with stats that Motson doesn’t sound too bad. It’s now, “This is the first time Everton have scored a goal on a Wednesday, when the month has a r in it, since 2013.”
    Not that objective mathematically-based evidence is bad,just that people using it have no idea what they’re trying to express with it. It’s become a source of “entertainment” in itself.

  • Gary

    First and last time I went to a proper soccer match was in 1973 for a Manchester local derby match. It was awful. Thousands of loutish pumped up beer soaked morons crammed together with barely enough space to breathe, shouting threats of violence and profane chants at each other. It was primitive tribal violent and mindless. I thought at the time that this is not a celebration of footballing prowess but an excuse for thousands of boys and men to vent their intense dislike of the opposing fans. Fans which live on the same streets, work in the same factories, drink in the same pubs, vote for the same political party and belong to the same trade unions. Crazy. Lunacy. It led me to beleive that there will always be extreme hatred and violence because if people can behave like that over the trivial matter of football then no chance of peaceful reconciliation between those of different faiths or sects. Its just no going to happen. And time has proven that to be a correct conclusion.

  • barriejohn

    Gary: There may be grounds for your pessimism, but some politicians are better than others at tuning into, and exploiting, that tribalism for their own ends. The public are generally oblivious to this manipulation.

  • Angela_K

    It makes me laugh when football supporting oiks who pay hundreds to watch their over-paid teams claim that Opera is elitist. I’ve seen some excellent Opera for under a fiver and many Orchestral concerts for a lot less. I hear women’s football – which is of course poorly paid – is doing rather well.

  • Peter Sykes

    “I see 22 millionaires ruining a lawn.” – Charlie Brooker on football

  • barriejohn

    Peter Sykes: A missionary to Brazil (where it definitely IS a religion) whom I once met – “A hundred thousand men who need exercise watching twenty two men who need a rest”!

  • Broga

    I came out of a bookshop not too long ago and met someone whom I know paid, I think, about £20 each home game. He also went to some away games. He asked, “What you got there then?”
    I said I had bought a paperback I had wanted to read for some time and took it out of the paper bag. He took it from my hand and asked how much it cost. I said, £6.50.
    He said, “Fucking hell. You must be made of money to pay that for a book.”

  • Paul

    There is an excellent book Demonic Males by Wrangham and Peterson. It’s only available second hand. It will explain the violence within the ape species – where the males use violence – with the exception of bonobos. And the reason the male bonobos aren’t violent is because they have a matriarchal society. The females are collectively, too powerful.
    It’s a very good book.
    It was a surprise reading that of the apes the one most prone to rape of the female is the orang-utan.

  • Broga

    @Paul: I would like to read that book. I’ll look around. We are killer apes and any creature within our power is to be pitied. Horses are often treated abominably. The phrase “braking” a horse is accurate. The Victorians were vicious. Horse whips and dog whips were not there for decoration.

  • In response to the comment of Paul above: Human females are generally more aggressive than males, though far less likely to use overt violence, perhaps because violence is perceived as being unfeminine. Most people will disagree with me. They are wrong to do so. As for Bonobos…..don’t get me started. No orifice is safe from the attention of these beasts!
    I am weary of all this shite about football; so, just in case anyone’s interested, there is an excellent book dealing with the witch trials of East Anglia in the 1640’s: ‘Witchfinders: A Seventeenth Century English Tragedy’ by Malcolm Gaskill. Needless to say, those executed could just as easily have been the executers. Human nature has a strong tendency towards paranoia, and often the result of this results in a strong need for enemies, victims, scapegoats. There is also an excellent silent film from 1922, available on DVD:’Haxan’ (also known as ‘Witchcraft Through the Ages’ when it was re-released in the 1960’s with William Burroughs as narrator). This film is startling, strange and beautiful, and is equal in my opinion to Giuseppe de Liguoro’s 1911 masterpiece ‘L’Inferno’, loosely adapted from Dante and inspired by the illustrations of Gustave Doré. Well, that’s what it says on the DVD cover.

  • Paul

    And how lovely that bonobos have so much sex. What a tension release. Although I am not so sure about the sex they have with their young ones though, male and or female. Nevertheless, bonobo females do have a lot more sex with females than they seem to do with males. I believe the human colloquial modern term for their sexual encounters is tribbing.
    Not sure about human females capacity for violence. Most domestic violence is of course male directed at females.
    As to the animal kingdom the most vicious females known amongst mammals are hyenas which have evolved to be more or less male. With penises or penis like genitalia. And it’s understood their tendency for violence is due to their very high levels of testosterone. A male chemical and we all know what effects that has on males.

  • I feel a strange affinity with these female hyenas.

  • Cali Ron

    MFR: “I feel a strange affinity with these female hyenas.” LOL! Not surprised since I always figured you to be a male troll masquerading as a female.

  • Cali Ron

    You may find professional sports deplorable, but I think it’s better for the naturally competitive and aggressive males to be “battling it out on the pitch” rather than pursuing those other popular male pastimes killing, raping and pillaging. You can choose to take or leave sports, but war, not so much.