Saturday 31 December 2016

Rwanda Football Moves to Outlaw Witchcraft - Seriously!

FERWAFA sets tough measures to curb ‘witchcraft in sports’ - The New Times | Rwanda

The Rwandan Football Federation (FERWAFA) has acted decisively to clean up the game following a serious spell-casting incidents in a league match which rocked the Rwanda football world a week ago.

An emergency meeting between the executive committee of the Association and all First Division football club presidents was call following the match in Huye stadium between Mukura Victory Sports and Rayon Sport. The game saw clashes on the pitch with Mukura players accusing a Rayon player, striker Moussa Camara, of gaining an unfair advantage and scoring a goal using witchcraft. The meeting decided unanimously that henceforth:

  • Any coach found guilty of using witchcraft, will be banned for four matches on top of paying a fine of Rwf200,000.
  • Any player found guilty of using witchcraft will receive a three-match suspension on top of a fine of Rwf100,000
  • Any team found guilty of engaging in witchcraft, it will lose three points and pay a fine of Rwf500,000.

FERWAFA vice president Vedaste Kayiranga explained that the perception of believing in witchcraft was damaging to the game and to the country. He also explained that:

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.

Readers may remember how in 1994 devoutly Christian Rwanda was the scene of one of the worst organised genocides in recent history when Hutus, aided in many cases by Catholic priests and nuns, murdered 500,000 - 1,000,000 Tutsi.

It looks as though the Catholic Church's influence in Rwandan culture is still as strong as ever and that magic words can have the effect of suspending the laws of physics, at least during a football match.

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