Of religion and beliefs in Zimbabwean football

A miracle is a quasi-magical act performed by an individual to show the power and authority of a principality or deity. That is according to one Biblical commentator called Thomas Idles.

Idles sees miracles from a standpoint of proving the supremacy of a certain belief.

In a society of diverse beliefs religious beliefs, Zimbabweans have constitutionally under fundamental human rights and freedoms, the “freedom to practise and propagate and give expression to their thought, opinion, religion or belief, whether in public or in private and whether alone or together with others.”

Football in the country is no exeption when it comes to religion.

Yesterday’s Castle Lager Premier Soccer League clash between Yadah and CAPS United at the National Sports Stadium, had a lot in terms of talking points.

Referee Munya Majoni’s performance came under the microscope from Makepekepe fans,  who felt the match official tried everything to make them lose the contest, which they eventually won 1-0 thanks to a Phineas Bamusi first half strike.

Perhaps the biggest talking point was the emergence of images, well captured by football photographer Liberty Mugari, showing stickers which were put on one of the nets at the giant facility.

Yadah were the home team, and were the ones who put those stickers for religious purposes, which is their right anyway.

Those  who were at the stadium claim that very net with those stickers, was the one Bamusi put the ball in to give Lloyd Chitembwe’s charges maximum points.

While religious beliefs differ, to what extent do they really impact football matches?

Legendary former Dynamos captain Memory Mucherahowa, believes they do not, at all.

“Its a difficult question you asked but what I think is that football and religion don’t link,” he told Soccer24.

“If you look at it, football accommodates everyone; be it Christians, Moslems, those who believe in the African tradition and those who don’t believe in anything.

“All those beliefs will be put in practise after a game of football, not during it.

There is a common belief in not only Zimbabwean football, but Africa at large, of the use of black magic, but Mucherahowa reckons if all that worked, Zimbabwean football would be successful.

“Look, those things don’t work in football, if they did, qualification for the World Cup woudn’t have evaded Zimbabwe for 41 years,” he said.

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