Ghana fans back team with prayers and "juju"
ACCRA (Reuters) - Soccer fans in Ghana turned to prayers and magic potions before their team's 2-1 victory over Guinea in the opening game of the African Nations Cup on Sunday.
Many churchgoers in the capital Accra went to Sunday services dressed in the red, gold and green national colours. Some pastors held special "cleansing" services to pray for a win for Ghana.
At the Resurrection Power and Living Bread Ministries Church in the west of the capital, head pastor Yaw Owusu-Ansah led the congregation in the chant "Total victory! Total Victory! Total victory!" to pray for success against Guinea.
Other fans turned to more ancient beliefs to invoke victory.
One group of singing, dancing fans near the Accra stadium carried a "juju pot" daubed in the national colours and containing a mixture of leaves and liquid.
"Its presence at the stadium will scare away all devils," one of the group, Kojo Saaka, said.
International and regional football authorities tend to frown on the use of black magic to try to sway games, but Saaka dismissed suggestions the "juju pot" could cause harm.
"This one rather brings luck and peace," he said.
In the end Ghanaian fans' prayers bore fruit as the Black Stars defeated Guinea 2-1 in the scrappy opening game.
(Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; Editing by Pascal Fletcher and Justin Palmer)
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