Mysterious Football Match

Mysterious Football Match


In 1998, all 11 members of a soccer team in Africa were killed by lightning while leaving the other team unhurt.


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Football fans in the central African state of Congo hurled accusations of witchcraft at each other 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 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 neighboring 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 the 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.


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