Professional sport demands finding an extra edge wherever you can, but the goalkeeper coach of Zambia Super League side Forest Rangers crossed a line that has led to his suspension pending a disciplinary hearing by the country’s football association.
Charles Chileshe was sanctioned after being accused of unsporting conduct in the action of “sprinkling an unknown substance in goal and urinating or simulation of urinating against one of the goalposts” ahead of Saturday’s game at Prison Leopards, a statement from the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) said.
Chileshe was further accused of acting “in a manner that is not consistent with the values and integrity of football as espoused by FIFA, CAF and FAZ”. Rangers also said in a statement that they had taken unspecified disciplinary action against Chileshe. The use of ‘muti’, the belief that certain ritual actions can help with success on the pitch, is not uncommon on the African continent, but whatever Chileshe was trying to achieve did not work this time. His side was beaten 2-0 by Leopards.
Rangers also lost the league title on the final day of last season when they needed victory over mid-table Zanaco to claim the crown, but were held to a 0-0 draw at home. The incident follows accusations of “witchcraft” from Zimbabwe coach Zdravko Logarusic at the African Nations Championship in Cameroon after a dead bat was found on the halfway line prior to kickoff of Saturday’s tournament opener against the hosts. Zimbabwe lost 1-0.