In an exclusive interview with Europe 1, Fatma Samoura, the Senegalese FIFA General Secretary has said that Senegal will use witch doctors in order to ensure Sadio Mané’s (30) participation in the upcoming World Cup in Qatar.
Mané sustained a tendon injury during Bayern Munich’s game against Werder Bremen earlier this week The Senegalese forward was withdrawn with just 20 minutes on the clock. The next day, the severity of the injury was revealed by L’Equipe, with Goal adding that the former Liverpool player was expected to be absent for up to a month.
However, RMC have since said that Mané could yet participate in the World Cup, with sources also telling AFP that he will make Aliou Cissé’s Senegal squad, which will be announced on Friday.
Samoura has now revealed the lengths that Senegal will go to to ensure Mané’s participation in the World Cup, which begins in just over a week. “We are going to use witch doctors,” she said. Questioned on their efficacy, she responded, “I don’t know (if they’re effective) but in this instance, we’re going to use them anyway. We are hoping for miracles. He has to be there!”
It is not the first time in recent weeks that the topic of witch doctors has seeped into the sporting world. Paul Pogba’s use of witch doctors is at the heart of the Pogba blackmail scandal, which implicates Paul’s brother, Mathias, in an alleged blackmail plot. Mathias claims that his brother used a witch doctor to curse international teammate Kylian Mbappé ahead of Manchester United’s clash against Paris Saint-Germain in 2019.
Demba Ba moved to stem reaction to Samoura’s comments by stating that the word ‘marabout’ is used to denote a Muslim preacher and not a witch doctor.
Senegal’s first match of the World Cup is on the 21st November against the Netherlands, with the current champions of Africa hoping to go deep into the tournament.
GFFN | Luke Entwistle