Balogun Believes ‘Juju May Have Been Involved’ By Ghana Against Nigeria In World Cup Playoff

Nigeria defender Leon Balogun questions the use of the away goals rule in Africa and also believes Juju might have been involved by Ghana.

Nigeria finished top of their group in the second round of the CAF World Cup qualifiers and after the play-off draw, they landed their West African rivals Ghana. In the first leg played in Ghana, the Black Stars and the Super Eagles played to a goalless draw despite the numerous chances created by either side. In the second leg staged in Nigeria, Thomas Partey scored for the visitors with William Troost-Ekong equalising for the hosts.

However, it was not enough for the Super Eagles as their rivals joined Tunisia, Senegal, Morocco and Cameroon for the World Cup in Qatar.

Balogun has now questioned why the away-goals rule is still being applied in Africa, further alleging black magic, commonly referred to as Juju, may have been used in the first leg that ended 0-0.

Balogun said: “It is funny because that season, the away goals rule had been scrapped everywhere. I don’t know why they didn’t do it in Africa…I have no clue. Until this day, I don’t understand,” Balogun told The Beautiful Game. We went to Ghana to play the first leg, which was a tough game. You know there was this whole fuss about them changing the stadium at the last minute on Tuesday when they have never lost and they say whether Juju may or may not have been involved also or whatever. It was tough for us. I can’t lie…..It was tough and we ended up playing 0-0.

Ghana started the World Cup campaign with a 3-2 Group H loss against Portugal, before bouncing back with a 3-2 win against South Korea. However, they then fell 2-0 against Uruguay to crash out.

Cameroon and Tunisia were also eliminated in the first hurdle, leaving Senegal and Morocco who made it to the Round of 16. The Lions of Teranga fell 3-0 to England with Morocco defying the odds to eliminate Spain and are now scheduled to play Portugal in the last eight.

Nigeria and Balogun will return to action on March 2023, targeting a place in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations finals to be played in Ivory Coast.