By Sulayman Bah and Abdoulie Fatty
The Super Nawettan, the most popular community-based football championship, has been trailed by controversies. From crowd troubles to player fist fights. But what is amusing is this week’s incident that set tongues-wagging. While black magic is dismissed as ultra-archiac and out of place in modern times, there still remains a good chunck of firm believers of the dark art and the episode that mired Sukuta –Bakau Super Nawettan group game fixture merely reignited the debate over whether casting of magic works.
It all started moments before Sukuta came from a goal down to overturn the thrilling tie to their favour against 10-man Bakau. Sukuta have had a couple of begging goal chances unbelivably rattling on the crossbar. While their strikers’ proligacy in front of goal leaves much to be desired the rate at which they kept clattering strikes at the Bakau goal mouth without scoring had hunreds of spectator’s gobsmacked.
Mummurings of black magic had by now began making the rounds and matters were not helped by Bakau goalkeeper’s antics to pass on what appears to be juju to the in-coming goalkeeper after being sent off.
The particular net-minder got his marching orders for accumulating two yellow cards and rather reluctantly walked off the pitch before unfastening a rope–like-juju on his waist, on the pitch fringes, surrounded by members of the Bakau technical bench. Moments later, Sukuta finally succeeded in scoring two impressive goals to turn around the tie to grab all points on a 2-1 score.
Below is a collage of pictures obtained by Foroyaa Sport, chronicling in glowing details the dramatic moment that had fans hissing and jeering in sheer disapproval.
The Bakau goalkeeper is here seen lowering his head in disbelief after getting sent off for indiscipline.
The goalkeeper, flanked by his Bakau teammates, is consoled upon being told to leave the pitch.
He walks off the Serrekunda East football park headed for the exit door.
Off pitch-bound, the Bakau goalie began from the starting line up but sees his stay on the pitch shortened. He pulled off his gloves intending to pass it to his understudy.
Immediately after reaching the pitch fringes, the red-carded net-minder is surrounded by Bakau’s technical bench for a reason you will get to see in the subsequent photographs.
The Bakau officials immediately get to work helping the surrounded keeper untie what visibly looks like a knotted rope in the presence of fourth referee Jama Njie and a linesman.
What very much appears to be a knotted string is being taken off the keeper to be passed to the waiting new goalkeeper with fourth referee Yama Njie seen in the background
Having changed keeper, Bakau would go on to concede two incredible goals leaving them with a solitary point in Group B following a goalless draw with Banjul in their opening tie.
This is not the first time cries of black magic is dogging Gambian football. Gamtel goalkeeper Musa Camara while starring in goal for Gambia senior team in 2012 against Algeria, was also captured on video pouring a substance-like content on Gambia’s goalmouth before resumption of play in a match the Scorpions later lost 2-1 at home.