Former Super Eagles forward Osaze Odemwingie has made a declaration that 70% of African professional footballer players use juju to boost their performances and help medical conditions.
The 36-year-old is now retired from the Super Eagles after representing the country at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Over the years there has been an increase of African professional exported to Europe, which has increased and developed the game on the continent.
In an interview by the Championat, Odemwingie narrated that while he was brought up in Russia he was taken to a shaman instead of a medical doctor after he sustained an injury on his hand.
Odemwingie then went on to make a claim that it is not a rare occurrence among his colleagues to use juju instead of a medical doctor.
In the interview Odemwingie said, “What did you encounter when I moved to Nigeria at the age of 17? With a football player. In training, I rolled my own two legs, I left the rolled-up roll, but in the fall I also hurt my shoulder and broke my arm. Mom was afraid to tell, so they took me to the local shamans. They poured hot water to relax their muscles.
“Somehow they returned the hand to the place, while I yelled, they twisted some small sticks. They conjured something else to grow better. Some local affairs. Something was connected with the chicken, some kind of rite. I come home, my mother saw the hand: “Broke?”. I answer: “Aha.” They were taken to a regular hospital, anesthesia was done, they put the plaster on. All is well in the end.”
Odemwingie also went on to state that shamans are more essential to professionals and at least 70 percent of his collegues believe in it.
He said, “Just at least 70% of players believe in it. They think that some kind of salve will save them. This is more suggestion. Brainwashing goes. But three years in Nigeria have been helpful to me. They called me to the big league, and there my career developed much faster.”
Osaze has played for several sides over the course of his career such La Louvière, Lille, Lokomotiv Moscow, West Bromwich Albion, Cardiff City, Stoke City, Bristol City and Rotherham United.