RICHARD Chihoro did not start last Saturday, against Hwange in Bulawayo, to sprinkle “juju” on football pitches and opposition’s goalposts around Zimbabwe’s grounds in a bid to give his club Dynamos the advantage with the powers of wizardry.
Chihoro and like-minded “magicians” from different teams across the country have been performing these creepy rituals for a number of years, unashamedly so and in the full glare of the football public – most of them not showing any shock – a shock in itself.
So following his suspension by the Premier Soccer League (PSL) this week for his latest theatrics at Barbourfields last weekend, poor old Chihoro would have been left wondering what all the fuss is about.
“A stupid ban for something that I’ve brazenly done every week, even as a roar of cheers from the crowd echoed across from the stands to the field? What has changed now?”
What has changed, uncle Rich, is that Zimbabweans are gradually getting outraged and disgusted by what any self-respecting people – any civilised citizenry – must be getting outraged and disgusted by in the 21st century.
I guess there are far more important matters in Zimbabwe right now that should enrage its people more than a guy who believes that spraying some funny stuff on the goal area can determine the outcome of a football match.
But, trust me, we have seen worse in Zimbabwean football. The collective condemnation of what happened at BF last week, the outpouring of disgust and contempt against the public actions of primitivism by somebody so distinguished in our football, a veteran of the game, is a sign that the nation is no longer prepared to accept such tomfoolery as part of our footballing DNA.
A whole welfare manager of the country’s most successful club, looked up to by a generation of gifted young players who should be embracing scientific methods of football, showing the middle finger to innovation and evolution of professional sport.
Chihoro is the guy taking all the flak now, alone and isolated.
Do not crucify him alone, though. But he is however for now a convenient person, perhaps the most fitting case, to send the clear message that certain behaviour cannot be tolerated forever.