Lightning kills an entire football team in DRC Congo while their opponents were left completely untouched.

Posted: February 15, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Africa, Socio-Cultural
Tags: , , , , ,


Lightning also struck a match in South Africa

All 11 members of a football team were killed by a bolt of lightning which left the other team unhurt, a Congolese newspaper has reported.

Thirty other people received burns at the match in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Kinshasa daily newspaper L’Avenir said local opinion – known to believe in charms and spells – was divided over whether someone had cursed the team.

The two sides were drawing 1-1 in the match in eastern Kasai Province when the lightning struck the visiting team.

“The athletes from [the home team] Basanga curiously came out of this catastrophe unscathed,” the paper said.

There was no official confirmation of the report – a rebel war affects much of the east of the country.

The first strike

In a similar incident at the weekend, a premier league soccer match in Johannesburg was brought to an abrupt end when lightning struck the ground.

Half the players from both teams – the Jomo Cosmos and the Moroka Swallows – dropped to the turf.

Several writhed on the grass holding their ears and their eyes. Spectators and coaching staff ran onto the pitch to help. Fortunately no-one was killed.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/203137.stm

Lightning kills an entire football team

FOOTBALL FANS in the central African state of Congo were hurling accusations of witchcraft at each other yesterday after a freak blast of lightning struck dead an entire team on the playing field while their opponents were left completely untouched.

The bizarre blow by the weather to all 11 members of the football team was reported in the daily newspaper L’Avenir in Kinshasa, the capital of Congo.

“Lightning killed at a stroke 11 young people aged between 20 and 35 years during a football match,” the newspaper reported . It went on to say that 30 other people had received burns at the weekend match, held in the eastern province of Kasai. “The athletes from Basanga [the home team] curiously came out of this catastrophe unscathed.”

The suspicion that the black arts might be involved arose firstly because the opposing team emerged unharmed and then again because the score at the time was a delicately balanced one all.

“The exact nature of the lightning has divided the population in this region which is known for its use of fetishes in football,” the newspaper commented.

Much of the detail about the match remains obscure as the Congo – officially known as the Democratic Republic of Congo – remains stricken by civil war between the government of Laurent Kabila and rebel forces, backed by neighbouring Rwanda, in the east of the country.

Witchcraft is often blamed for adverse natural phenomena throughout western and central Africa. It is relatively frequent for football teams to hire witchdoctors to place hexes on their opponents.

In a similar, though less deadly incident in South Africa over the weekend, six players from a local team were hurt when lightning struck the playing field during a thunderstorm.

Did lightning kill an entire team?

“What is the largest number of game-ending injuries to have occurred to a single team during a match?” enquires Bob Sedlak.

The tragic case of Bena Tshadi in the Democratic Republic of Congo apparently holds this unfortunate record, Bob, after a truly freak blast of lightning wiped them out mid-game. Back in October 1998, Bena Tshadi were drawing 1-1 with visitors Basanga in the eastern province of Kasai when a true bolt from the blue struck. “Lightning killed at a stroke 11 young people aged between 20 and 35 years during a football match,’ reported the daily newspaper L’Avenir in Kinshasa. The account added that while 30 other people received burns, “the athletes from Basanga curiously came out of this catastrophe unscathed.”

Immediately, accusations of witchcraft arose; many teams across central and western Africa are known to employ the services of witchdoctors to put curses on their opponents. “The exact nature of the lightning has divided the population in this region which is known for its use of fetishes in football,” added the newspaper. However, there has never been any official confirmation of L’Avenir’s report as much of the area was stricken by civil war.

This isn’t the sole instance of lightning striking a football match, however. Just days before the Bena Tshadi incident, a South African Premier League game was abandoned after seven players and the referee were sent sprawling to the turf. As a Guardian report from the time explained: “Two players from Moroko Swallows were kept in hospital but the coach of opposition Jomo Cosmos hinted that some Swallows players had faked injury. ‘Our observation was that only two players were seriously injured but more fell down,’ he said. The Swallows were 2-0 down with 12 minutes to go.”

Email all your questions and answers to knowledge@guardian.co.uk.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2006/mar/15/theknowledge.sport

Comments
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