The head of the Nigerian Football Supporters’ Club, Rafiu Ladipo, has confessed that for years he has been using juju (traditional local magic) to try to bring the Super Eagles to victory. But no longer: “We came to realize that juju just doesn’t play football.”

“There are no links between football and voodoo. Now we believe only in praying and fasting to help Nigeria win their matches.”

So juju’s loss is prayer’s gain. As someone willing to entertain the possibility that sports are important enough to be on providence’s radar, I’m glad he hasn’t given up on higher-power intervention altogether. Though, if I were a player for the Super Eagles, the last thing I’d want to hear before a match is “I guess there’s nothing left to do but pray.”

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