The head coach of the Black Stars of Ghana, C.K Akonnor, has denied claims that players of the senior national team use black magic, known widely as ‘juju’, against their teammates.
Ghana’s football has been plagued with assertions that using ‘juju’ aids teams to win games and enhances their performance.
Others have suggested that some players use black magic against opponents and even against their own colleagues in order to get call-ups to the national team.
It is worth noting that last season, fans were left bemused after Aduana Stars and Asante Kotoko completed the first 45 minutes of their Ghana Premier League encounter with 10 players each, with each team refusing to send in the 11th player first for fear of losing the game.
Despite not receiving any red cards, both sides decided to start the game with their 11th – and final – players sitting on the touchlines.
Akonnor, however, says he is not aware of his players using ‘juju’ and insisted that no one in his squad has ever complained about it.
I do not have an idea of such claims, I often have Zoom meetings with my players and no one has ever claimed to have been a victim of such acts.
For all I know, my players do not involve themselves in these things and that is all I know about it.
In September 2020, ex-Black Stars goalkeeper, Adam Kwarasey, in an interview with Citi Sports, claimed that he was not aware of his colleagues using black magic but added that it would be an act of selfishness if the rumours were true.
I have no idea, and I don’t believe or want to accuse anybody of such things. I don’t wish or think about bad things for other people, especially not if we are trying to reach the same goal. It’s selfish. if you play the same position as the best player in your team, do you harm him because you want to play? You harm your team and you give your team less chance of winning. I really hope that I wasn’t part of a team where these things were going on because then you can’t call it a team. I might be naive but for me, it is not an option to harm my teammate for me to shine.
Also, goalkeeper Fatau Dauda also debunked similar rumours that using ‘juju’ existed in the Black Stars camp and was not the cause for Adam Kwarasey’s misfortunes while playing for the senior national team.
“Yes, Ghanaians are saying it and I have heard it but that’s the nature of job. If I have juju I will use it to secure a big deal outside to play for Real Madrid or Barcelona to make big money. I pray a lot, not for performances but to God to protect me from injury.
“I train a lot, I am 34 years but the training I go through I don’t think the young ones can match it. I train and pray so I don’t know where that rumour is coming from.
However, ex-Black Stars midfielder, Derek Boateng revealed in an interview on Joy FM that indeed some players used black magic during the 2013 AFCON, claiming he could not enter the rooms of some of his colleagues because of that.
“Yes, I had teammates who used juju to play. I have seen a lot of things and they are really bad. Sometimes some of the Black Stars players you cannot even go to their rooms because of the kind of smell that is there. I believe every player has what they believe in which will help them play very well”.