New York Times article confirms that Gor Mahia used to publish its financial statements in the 70s!

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T Opiyo
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New York Times article confirms that Gor Mahia used to publish its financial statements in the 70s!

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Magic Spells Difference To Kenyans in Soccer

Feb. 22, 1971

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb. 21— The annual accounts of Gor Mahia, One of Kenya's lead ing soccer clubs, show that the club spent Inore than $3,000 on witchcraft last year.

The money was Used to so licit advice and forecasts from witch doctors before matches Fees ranged from $12 to $60, according to the importance of the event.

Sports leaders in Kenya of ficially disapprove of witch craft in Soccer, but, in spite of many social and cultural changes, it shows little signs of losing its hold.

William Yeda, the Kenya Sports officer, has said that clubs should Stop using magic, but that an official ban would not prevent its be ing practiced in secret. Yeda, when he was a player, re fused to paint his body with pig fat, the remedy generally used against spells and charms.

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Officials on the Ball

Last month, before a game between two leading teams, Gor Mahia and Abaluhya, of ficials of both sides invaded the stadium office and asked the organizations to allow them to check the ball to see if charms had been placed upon it.

Most leading Kenya, clubs employ a witch doctor and play few game without con sulting him on strategy and their chances of winning. Be fort important matches, sen tries patrol the stadium to set that no one places a charm upon, the ball.

Clubs usually refuse to nounce the names of their players in advance for fear that they might be be witched. Moreover, the play ers often avoid official dress ing rooms and gates for fear of evil charms left there by unsportsmanlike rivals or their supporters.

If a club has a run of bad advice—more than three un successful prognostications— the witch doctor is dismissed in favor of one more compe tent. Not surprisingly, witch doctors who are sufficiently confident in their skill to ac cept payment after the match are able to command a high er fee than those who de mand their reward before play begins.


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