Fans of both Aduana Stars and Asante Kotoko were left bemused after both teams completed the first 45 minutes of their Ghana Premier League encounter on Wednesday with just 10 players each.
Despite not receiving any red cards, both sides decided to start the game with their 11th – and final – players sitting on the touchlines.
The game was on a knife-edge even before kick-off as players from the two teams clashed during the traditional pre-match handshakes with Kotoko goalkeeper, Kwame Baah going down, with the Porcupine Warriors’ players claiming that he had been hit in the face by Aduana’s Nobert.
Aduana’s Farouk Adams and Kotoko’s Martin Antwi were captured by TV cameras sitting on the touchline as the first half progressed
As such, the teams took each other on in the first half with a player less than they could have on the pitch.
The two teams were, however, within FIFA rules which state that a football match may be allowed to go on unless either team has fewer than seven players.
The bizarre situation puzzled fans in the stadium who could not understand why their sides had taken such an odd decision.
Report I got from Dormaa on why the two teams are playing with 10 men each
Aduana's Farouk Adams is sitting on touchline. Kotoko's Martin Antwi also sitting
Both looking out for the other to enter the pitch first
30 mins & non is ready to enter. Both coaches don't seem to care
— Saddick Adams (@SaddickAdams) February 19, 2020
On social media, observers were just as confused about the developments in Dormaa.
Despite the fact that two of the league’s top teams were facing off, the match itself took a backseat to conversations about the two players who were unexplainedly not involved in the action.
Many speculated that the teams had opted to field 10 players due to potential “spiritual” implications if they fielded 11.
One person, Ayishatu Zakaria Ali tweeted that both sides believed that they would lose the crucial encounter should they start the game with 11 players.
A number of people also shared this theory which seems to be the most popular right now on social media.
While some people criticised the actions of both teams as being primitive, others argued that superstition is a normal part of the local game and the incident should be accepted.
Others just saw the funny side of it all.
We dey joke
— MoE (@mykabbey) February 19, 2020
How do I convince my friends who love the foreign game to #BringBackTheLove with this attitude? I’m sad
— Elorm🇬🇭 (@EfoHearts) February 19, 2020
lol Spiritual directions
— Marvin (@quekudaqati) February 19, 2020
Ibi nkurasis3m massa. We shouldn’t support this at all.
— Nana 🇬🇭 (@WarrenCFC) February 19, 2020
It’s part of African football
— SARAUTA 🤴 (@Sam_Sterling2) February 19, 2020
In this 21 century ? If juju can win games then y don’t Ghanaian teams do well in CAF competitions ?
— Kumah David (@KumahDavid9) February 19, 2020
A beautiful side of the African game
— L O V E (@mrzacq) February 19, 2020
It is really embarrassing for these things to keep happening in this day and age
— Lykwid Pages (@MrAwesomeLykwid) February 19, 2020
Ghana football de3 superstition will kill us oo…eii
So apparently, both Aduana Stars and Kotoko started their match with 10 players each in the 1st half before bringing their other 2 players on in the 2nd half…..hmm!
Herh Ghana erh…😂😂😂😂😂
— Elvis 🇬🇭 (@Kayjnr10) February 19, 2020
I see people laughing at the fact that Kotoko and Aduana both decided to start the game with 10 men due to superstitious beliefs😂
Chairman we dey africa oo Juju dey work😂 dey der see how goal no dey wan come the game inside
— Kay 💧 (@Kaypoisson1) February 19, 2020
I’m really disappointed in both teams
— Prince (@Kumipri720) February 19, 2020
Huh gh football….. Juju nkoaaaa
— Akonoba Aniboe (@AAniboe) February 19, 2020
😀😀 Ghana 3y3 d3
— #YesuDontForgetMe🇬🇭 (@brasilvaGH) February 19, 2020
And they want the love back? Smh
— 🍀Mindez ✨ (@Kwamegh13) February 19, 2020
— Fid3lis🇬🇭 (@therealfidelis) February 19, 2020
Ei nduro paaa nie 🤣🤣 they will go out of the country and can’t even play well mchewwww
— kojopinto👊🏽🇬🇭 (@scalaxpinto) February 19, 2020
Aduana and Kotoko let themselves down today. Insanely bizzare, a drawback when this league is winning hearts and minds again.
— Michael Oti Adjei (@OtiAdjei) February 19, 2020
The two players were eventually brought on for the second half.
The match eventually ended 1-0 to Aduana.