An age old question...
Is witchcraft rife in Coastal football?
For a long time, the accusation has been leveled to football lovers and experts across the game in the region.
Most have argued that it does not exist, but incidents that happen regularly, weigh in on the debate.
Take an example from over this weekend in an amusing incident in Mombasa.
On Sunday 17 June, Kingstone FC from Diani accused Changamwe soccer aristocrats, Super Eagles, of bewitching them during their third tier South Coast Provincial league zone A match played at Changamwe Estate playground.
Kingstone accused their opponents of casting a spell on them by using voodoo.
Their Team Manager Said Mwinyi, alleged that they found their opponents smearing themselves with fetish objects at the centre of the pitch before match kick off.
Apparently, they were shocked to find their opponents smearing themselves with ndumba (voodoo) .
According to Mwinyi, they complained to the referee but they were ignored.
Kingstone threatened to boycott the match but later changed their minds when they were warned that they would lose points should they make good their threats.
They in the end played and finished the match, but you can imagine what the players felt or thought. Were they in the right frame of mind after such an incident?
For people who beleive so much in such powers to threaten boycotting a game, I beleive it did.
Laughed it off
When contacted, Super Eagles coach Zabolo Odera dismissed the allegations, claiming that his players merely smeared Vaseline to make their skin smoother before the match.
The match officials equally laughed off Kingstone’s allegations, with centre referee Simon Aguk disclosing that Super Eagles could have been playing with the psychology of their opponents who thought their had fortified themselves with charms.
Aguk’s sentiments were echoed by FKF South Coast Brach Secretary Evans Mwachia who dismissed the potency of the fetish practice in attaining successes in the game.
No denial on the way
The interesting thing is that none of the officials made a stern effort to deny the use of witchcraft in the larger game, instead dismissing the complaints on a technicality.
While the debate on the efficacy of the power of voodoo rages on, belief in superstition is a tradition in the Coastal region.
A few months ago, zone A league pretenders Shikaadabu blamed rivals Vimwanga for bewitching their goalkeeper after the teams 6-0 loss to Hippo Youngsters in a league match.
So the debate will roll on.. Is there witchcraft in Coastal football?
Take your pick...