Mighty Mukuru Wanderers FC president and board chairperson Thomson Mpinganjira says some Nomads fans’ obsession with juju is embarrassing and denting the club’s image.
The business mogul and philanthropist was reacting to incidents linking the Nomads to use of juju during their recent FDH Bank Cup matches.
In an interview on Friday, the Nomads boss said as the club embarks on a new chapter, it is important that the fans should conduct some soul-searching and do away with juju beliefs.
He said: “As a Christian I get embarrassed with stories linking the team to acts of juju. We shouldn’t be believing in juju because it doesn’t work in football. It is something that is psychological.
“Everyone knows that football is about investing in technical and tactical skills. That is why teams such as Manchester City and Real Madrid do well.
“It is the supporters who are behind this and, in turn, they brainwash the players.”
Mpinganjira also said the practice has the potential to affect the club’s sponsorship.
The president also said he is yet to decide on the previous board’s resolution to offer him majority stake as it intensifies its commercialisation drive.
He said: “When I got the [board’s] resolutions, there were three issues and these were to continue as board chairperson and president as well as an offer for majority stake.
“I accepted the first two, but on the third one, I am yet to decide because it is not an easy thing as it has huge financial implications. You can actually see that even with a sponsor, there is need for more funding, probably the same amount the sponsor is pumping in.
“There was also a time when the supporters wrote me a letter to take over the team. They even copied the State President, but for now I am quite happy as president and board chairperson.”
Mpinganjira said the immediate task after reconstituting the board from 24 to eight, was stabilising the gap in terms of players’ welfare.
He said: “They [players] must be paid on time and we need to ensure that proper and adequate equipments are always available.
“I am hoping that with the reorganisation we are instituting, the governance side will lure the sponsor to renew the contract.”
Wanderers supporters committee chairperson Dinesi Chitsulo said they have embarked on an awareness campaign to get rid of the juju obsession.
He said: “I for one do not believe in juju and I have been propagating against such practices. In fact, there are just a few individuals who are involved in the act.
“They do not do it without the knowledge of my committee, but it is indeed embarrassing and it is costing us a lot in fines.”
The Lali Lubani Road outfit has lately been embroiled in juju controversy, notably during their FDH Bank Cup round of 16 match against Dedza Dynamos Salima Sugar FC at Dedza Stadium where the Nomads players urinated on the pitch before kick-off.
Barely a week later during their quarter-final match against Kamuzu Barracks at Kamuzu Stadium, some alleged Nomads fans were spotted and captured pouring liquid stuff along the tunnel leading to the dressing room.
Reacting to Mpinganjira’s stand on the majority stakes’ offer on Friday, the club’s director responsible for commercialisation Clement Stambuli said he needed to consult first.