Soccer player drowns in ritual swim
Tue Oct 7, 2008 2:15pm EDT
HARARE (Reuters) - A Zimbabwean soccer player drowned
in a crocodile infested river during a ritual to cleanse his
team of bad spirits before a match, a state newspaper said on
The Chronicle quoted unnamed sources as saying about
16 players from second division side Midland Portland Cement
were told to swim in the Zambezi river in the resort town of
Victoria Falls ahead of a soccer match on Sunday.
"The technical team told every player to get into the
river so that they could be cleansed of bad spirits," it said.
The paper quoted local police commander Peter Rodzi as
saying that after the swim, the other players had noticed that
one of the team was missing.
"The area where the team was swimming is prohibited
as the current is strong. The river is also infested with
crocodiles and hippos," said Rodzi.
Belief in the power of spirits is widespread in
Zimbabwe and many African countries.