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OJUANG: Beliefs that kill footballing talent

Sunday July 12 2020
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Gor Mahia fans dance along Kimathi street in Nairobi ahead of Mashemeji Derby against AFC Leopards on March 8, 2020. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By MOSES OJUANG'

The hungry lion and the injured gazelle presumably pray for different things to the same god.

The lion offers thanks for a meal while on the verge of starvation, while the gazelle howls with lips of clay for the cup to pass him!

The footballer who is in the habit of crossing himself as he enters the pitch hopes for the lord to grant his team victory; the opposing team prays for the same.

Prayer is viewed in the positive light by the religious world while the silent ones don’t give a hoot about it.

We accept everyone to practice their freedom of worship and faith and if perchance they feel that they win because of their faith, so be it.

There are those that have bizarre beliefs and even hide chicken legs tied up in their loins; those that must masturbate before a match; those who sleep in graveyards at the eve of a match; the ones that must enter the touchline into the pitch with the right leg first; the maestros that must wash their armpits with a Turkey’s blood… those ones too we must accord their freedom. If it spurs their mental strength then they should do their thing, sans trepidation.

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We are not on the path of sermon. We only want to point out that there are others more dangerous than the two types we deal with above.

These are the fellows that stoop even to the illegal in order to win and this is the dalliance with drugs. Any vendor of traditional medicine knows that if he prescribes his worthless herbs as aphrodisiac he will get greater sales.

Any sportsperson when told the ash of ostrich feathers will give an edge to his performance will hunt the poor birds to extinction!

I have known many Kenyan players in my time and many of them worship marijuana to an extent that they cannot play well if they have not smoked the herb!

Of course, it is illegal substance banned both in the country and in sports, but it is readily available.

We do not test our footballers for drugs simply because we do not have the machinery to do so and, as such, our dope heads do it with impunity. When we think we are the only ones doing this, we find that it is a widespread practice in the continent.

A Ghanaian football coach has revealed that 60 percent of players in local championships use marijuana. Great Accra Olympics coach J.E. Sarpong made the shocking revelations during a radio interview some weeks ago. 

His honest observation was rather dampened by his attitude towards it especially when he said that he has no issue with the abuse of the substance as long as it doesn't affect the performance of the team!

"It's a bad practice, but if I win the match, that's fine with me. I take my winning match bonuses and I go," he said. 

Marijuana is on the list of prohibited substances in the practice of sport, although its performance-enhancing effect has not yet been proven. We must warn our players about the use of marijuana or else they shall stifle their own talents before they bloom.

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