Australian Football team, Voodoo and World Cup curse
Football is a team game. Yes, individual skills also play an important role. But many football team managers, when formulating tactics, rely on the ‘collective team effort’. There is no other way to succeed in football. Luck also plays a small part. Ask successful managers like Sir Alex Ferguson, Vicente Del Bosque or Jose Mourinho about their teams’ ‘secret to success’, they will attribute it to good old hard-work and a bit of luck. So, you must be thinking what this article has to do with voodoo and black magic. Well, hang on, the funny part is all set to roll out.
It all started in 1969. The qualifying rounds for the World Cup 1970 were going on. Australian Football team had a dismal display at the play offs (I guess they played like shit) and they now had to face Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). It was a crucial game for Australia. They had to win this one to have any hopes of qualifying for the World Cup. So, they sat down, formed an attacking tactic and trained hard. Wait! Hell no! They didn’t had time for all that shit, instead, they tried a new technique- Voodoo!
The venue of this crucial match was Mozambique. This place was famous for Voodoo and Black magic practitioners. So, members of the Australian team decided- “Why not go to a Voodoo doctor and get this shit done?”. And off they went to a Voodoo doctor!
The Voodoo doctor and the team members managed to bury bones near each goal post and he did some rituals and cursed the opposition team. Australia won the match 3-1. After the match, the Voodoo practitioner asked the team to pay a cool sum of 1000 bucks for his ‘good job’. The members of the Australian team it seems were not having enough money with them because they left the country without paying him up.
Angered by this, the Voodoo doctor reversed the curse and cursed the Australian Football team! The team didn’t qualify for the 1970 World Cup. They qualified for the 1974 WC but couldn’t even score a single goal! Since then, the Australian Football team failed to qualify for the WC for seven consecutive times!
So, shit got real for Australian football team. Johnny Warren, a member of the 1969 team that resorted to Voodoo revealed about this event in his autobiography. John Safran, an Australian documentarian read about this and decided to investigate this matter for his TV documentary series. He went to Mozambique in 2004 and learnt that the Voodoo doctor who cursed the Australian team had died long ago. So, John Safran found another voodoo practitioner and gave him the task of lifting this curse.
John Safran and the Voodoo doctor returned to the old stadium (where it all began) at night. They performed some rituals that included killing a chicken and splattering its blood over poor John Safran! Finally, after 32 years of World Cup nightmares, the Australian team finally qualified for the 2006 WC finals. They made their way to the second round in the tournament, their best performance at WC finals!