Superstitions are not uncommon in sport, and football and its players are no exception to this rule.

From the greatest in the sport to the myriad others hoping to become so, weird practices/routines before, during or after the game are as much as a part of playing the game itself.

Chelsea captain and England defender, John Terry apparently sits in the same place in the team bus.

Former England and Manchester United defender, Gary Neville too admits to following set routines ? same set of shoes, same belt, etc.

In a desperate attempt to help his team get back to winning ways, Barry Fry, during his days as the Birmingham City manager, admitted to urinating in the 4 corners of the field. His team did fare much better, but Fry was soon kicked out.

There have been instances of players/staff relying on the Almighty to help them/team perform to expectations.

The most classic example of this being, former Italy coach Giovanni Trappatoni, who was seen sprinkling holy water on the playing field.

But, does the practice take so much predilection that players concentrate more on persuading supernatural powers to help them out rather than putting their hard work on the field? Apparently, yes!

In Africa, where Juju is common among local people, the footballers are not that much different. Juju is ?an object of any kind superstitiously venerated by West African native tribes, and used as a charm, amulet, or means of protection; a fetish.

Also the supernatural or magical power attributed to such objects, or the system of observances connected therewith; also a ban or interdiction effected by means of such an object.?

African footballers have been known to go to great lengths in getting juju to work for them as they believe charms and spells help them become victorious and at times even work against their opponents.

During the 2008, African Cup of Nations opener between Ghana and Guinea many Ghana fans were seen with juju pots to ward away all devils. There were even fans with guinea fowls among the crowd.

Whether this is what helped Ghana secure a narrow 2-1 win over their rivals may never be known, but it does throw light on how much people think juju plays football.

Even more bizarre was the 2002 game between Mali and Cameroon, when Cameroon officials, including the head coach placed a magic charm on the pitch before the game kicked-off.

Not long ago, Goran Stevanovic, former Ghana coach, attributed his team failure to win the AFCON 2012 to players who try to outdo each other using black power or Juju.

In his report after the tournament in which the Black Stars finished fourth, Stevanovic said, ?We all need to help in changing some players? mentality about using black power to destroy themselves and also make sure we install discipline and respect for each other.?

Ghana is not the only country that seems to be suffering from this mentality. In fact, much of the African football-loving population seem to sway to the notion that juju plays football.

German film-maker, Oliver Becker who made the film Kick the Lion?Football and Magic in Africa depicting the use of juju in football says, ?Traditional medicine and religion play an important role in most African societies.

Soccer is by far the number one sport in Africa, so it?s logical that traditional beliefs would also play an important role in soccer.?

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