'Anointed oil delivered Yadah title'

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) Eastern Region Division One League was the most intriguing and controversial of the country’s four regions. 

It was concluded way after the other three regions had been decided largely due to conflicts pending verdicts of the abandoned match involving Prime Rangers and eventual winners Yadah FC which threatened to put the league into disarray. 

With the race for the championship reaching a climax, the game was abandoned four minutes from full time with Prime Rangers leading 1-0. Rangers protested a late penalty which was awarded to Yadah leading to the abandonment of the match.  

And following an inquiry into the incident, the match was eventually awarded to Yadah on a 3-0 scoreline. But that decision became unpopular with other league teams as they felt Yadah was being treated with kid gloves.
 
Buffaloes who were on top of the log at the time led a group of teams who threatened to pull out accusing Yadah of conniving with the Eastern region executive to rule in their favour.

Apparently Yadah had also earlier benefitted from a similar incident when they were awarded three points for the abandoned match against Surrey.

Yadah coach Kuda Masaraure reckons that his team was actually a victim of hatred in the region as it was branded a ‘Harare’ team playing in the Eastern Region while dismissing the conspiracy saying it was never about favouritism, but rather it was the ‘anointing oil’ which carried their season. 

“I remember giving interviews to some journalists’ way back that we were going to win the title because we use anointing oil but some laughed me off.

“If anointing oil can make people walk, see and get healed how was it going to fail us win the title?” asked Masaraure in an interview with the Daily News on Sunday.

“I was very confident that we were going to win because of the prophesy that was delivered by our father Prophet Walter Magaya of PHD Ministries at the start of the year.

“He told us that we were going to be crowned champions on a goal difference, so I kept believing.

“If you look at it, it’s inexplicable that Prime Rangers were leading 1-0 and refused to continue with the match when we were awarded a penalty, maybe we were going to miss it or even if we scored it was  going to be a draw but they refused and we were awarded three points and three goals.

“The same happened with Surrey. In the last game it was a Mutare derby between Buffaloes and Tenax.

“With Mutare City relegated, many thought Tenax would donate the game so that Mutare remains in Premiership football but because of the anointing oil, Tenax put up a spirited performance and drew the game and that’s how we beat Buffaloes on goal difference as we ended the season tied on same number of points.”

Yadah who were formed eight months ago after the collapse of the partnership with Gunners, bought the franchise of struggling  Ruwa Gunners in the early stages of the season and powered their way to the top.

The PHD Ministries-sponsored team paraded the likes of former Dynamos midfielder Milton Makopa, Trymore Mutisi, former Monomotapa captain Brian Mapfumo, as well as Leeroy Murape among a cast of experienced and upcoming stars.

But it is the assertion by Masaraure on the use of anointing oil to bring results that brings back the argument on whether spiritual forces work in football given a rampant belief in some circles on the use of juju. 

Many great sportsmen have alluded to the use of faith in sport and claiming that their theologies helped them triumph.

Muhhamed Ali, the greatest boxer of all time was quoted in 1974 after his victory over George Foreman saying: ““How can I lose with Allah on my side?”

Jonathan Edwards, a former world triple jump champion weighed in saying: “Any belief can have powerful effects, so long as it is held with sufficient conviction”.

And this puts the argument that religious conviction really can boost performance, but only if you truly believe.

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