Kaizer Chiefs and Nigeria goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi has discussed the misconception about using ‘juju’ in football after fans around Africa took to social media regarding the player’s ‘rubbing’ of the match ball against Bafana Bafana.
Fans on social media suggested that Akpeyi was involved in a pre-match superstition, even claiming that the player may have used ‘muti’ during the encounter.
However, in an exclusive interview with Soccer Laduma this week, Akpeyi cleared up the rubbing of the ball incident, adding that he does not believe in the use of ‘juju’.
“(Laughing uproariously) People really believe I put juju on the match ball? That doesn’t make sense. Does juju really work in football? To me, that (juju) is nonsense because if juju really worked in football, Africa would be world champions. Most of the time in Africa, they like using juju and all of that stuff.
They should be winning the championship now and then. It doesn’t work. Now, getting back to the match ball against South Africa, it happens all over Europe,” he said.
“If a goalkeeper is using a new set of gloves, you want to get a feel of the ball. If they (gloves) grip very well, the better. But sometimes they water the pitch and the ball can skid and be slippery, so you want to feel the level of the grip of the gloves on the ball.
I’m a Christian and, so, I don’t think I’ll get myself involved in juju and even if you use it in my presence, it doesn’t work, otherwise like I said before, all those teams that uses juju, they could be scoring 10 or 15 goals in a single match and winning all games. I have seen teams using juju and they never get anywhere. It doesn’t work, so never assume that it is juju whatsoever,” he added.