I wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about about Australia’s chances in WC2010’s Group D, but the following story from The Daily Herlad’s Paul Kent might justify a reassessment of the Socceroos’ prospects. It seems the journalist has enlisted the services of Bishop Nonyane, a witch doctor fromthe South African township of Tembisa to treat former Leeds/Liverpool midfielder Harry Kewell’s injured groin. I know, I know, hasn’t anyone thought of doing the same for Carlos Beltran?
Bishop Nonyane takes our picture of Kewell and studies it.
Can he see the two groin operations, the blood infection, the achilles operation and the nasty turn of gout that ruled him out of the crucial second round game against Italy four years ago?
“How long has he been injured?”
He opens his Bible and begins reading, listening to his grandmother and reading, seeming more fortune teller than witch doctor.
“Because we can’t perceive these malicious spirits,” he says, “our naked eye says it’s bad luck.
“But his injuries are because of the malicious spirits, and they in turn are hurting him. His bloodline has been tormented by these spirits and, nowadays, these spirits are attracted to him. It happened centuries ago.”
“It has got to do with his family background. They enjoy hurting him.
“If he doesn’t watch himself it will not end very well in football.”
Bishop Nonyane is told Australia needs Kewell fit and healthy sooner rather than later – so what can the good witch doctor do?
“Is Harry a church-going guy, or is he a party guy?” he asks.
“A family guy,” he is told. Best to be diplomatic.
“Then you must pray, and believe in prayer,” he says.
Pray? Much of the country has worn holes through their pants legs doing that already.
“A get well message from the Prime Minister will do,” he says.
“Let the guy know that the whole Australian community rallies behind him to get well, and that they do believe in him, to get well.”