Even after 16 years later, it is still talked about. Talks of sorcery and witchcraft is always accompanied with the story as they are often blamed throughout west and central Africa to explain natural phenomenons and illnesses.
As the Story Goes...
It was your average soccer game on a cloudy afternoon (as can be seen in the video below), between the home team, Bena Tshadi and visiting team, Basanga, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The two sides were drawing 1-1 in the match in eastern Kasai Province when the lightning struck. Shortly after, members of the home team started falling to the turf one by one, leaving the other team unscathed by this catastrophe. 11 young people aged between 20 and 35 years eventually died and 30 other people received burns.
Kinshasa daily newspaper L'Avenir, (Kinshasa is the capital and the largest city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo), said local opinion - known to believe in charms and spells - was divided over whether someone had cursed the team.
It is said, sorcery and witchcraft is often used in the region in an attempt to influence soccer games.
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.
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.
Although this story is claimed to be true, at the time of the disaster, much of the detail about the match remained obscured as the Congo – officially known as the Democratic Republic of Congo – remained stricken by civil war between the government of Laurent Kabila and rebel forces, backed by neighbouring Rwanda, in the east of the country.
Unless proved otherwise, this story is considered another True Stories of Strange Deaths file, and is therefore added to the site.
A similar incident was reported that weekend when 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.
So Why Did Members of One Team Die and Not the Other?
As quoted from a source:
This definitely happened. It was featured on the Urban Legends TV series and was confirmed as true. It was because one team had steel cleats and the others had plastic cleats. -amnation.com/
Via | Via |