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Thursday, 3 September 2015

Togolese Striker Rejects Transfer Move At The Last Minute Because He Needs A Sign From God


Emmanuel Adebayor, a Togolese footballer, who plays for Tottenham Hotspur in the English premier league has rejected a loan transfer move at the last minute saying he needed a sign from God. He stalled a move to Aston Villa, another premier league club after completing a medical and even posing for photographs with the club's shirt. It is understood that he even consulted his pastor, who may have been pivotal to his decision.
African footballers, especially those who play outside of Africa are known for their religiosity, and are only matched by their counterparts from South America. I wonder what goes through their heads when the cross themselves, do the islamic prayer pose of touching their heads to the ground, or other such meaningless rituals. The Nigerian national football team is in the habit of praying before every match, and I wonder who they pray to since there is almost always a mixture of christians and muslims on the team. It will not be surprising to if there is a christian prayer, followed by a muslim one as is the habit in state functions where adherents of both religions are present. The Nigerian footballers are simply following example.
These footballers are very well paid and it is understandable that victory means a lot to them. But when they pray, do they not pause to think that the other team may also pray for victory? Whose prayer do they expect God to answer then? Brazil and Italy, two religious countries, met in the World Cup final match in the United States in 1994. Both teams of course prayed before the match, and after a goalless two hours, the winner was decided by penalty shoot-out, which Brazil won. Would the Italians say that God forsook them or did the Brazilians pray harder?
Togo, like most sub-saharan African countries, is steeped in religion and superstition, so Mr Adebayor's behaviour will not surprise those who know this. Results in sports are determined by so many factors, including luck and human error. Everyone has bad days and a football team is no exception; it is not under any divine or supernatural control.