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Saturday, 6 April, 2002, 13:52 GMT 14:52 UK
Witch doctors placated
Ivory Coast fans
Ivorian fans have not had much to cheer about lately
The Ivorian Government has settled a long-running dispute with disgruntled witch doctors who claim to have had a hand in the country's only African Nations Cup success.

The witch doctors, from a suburb of the capital Abidjan, were apparently hired by the sports minister before the 1992 Nations Cup final against Ghana.

The Elephants won the trophy after beating the Black Stars in a dramatic penalty shootout in Dakar, Senegal.

But the witch doctors complained that they were never paid for ther services and threatened to put a curse on the national side.

Curse

Ivory Coast has not had much success in the Nations Cup since the 1992 triumph.

In 2000, the team was locked up in a military camp, forced to frog march and attend lectures on patriotism after failing to go beyond the first round.

The Elephants fared no better in Mali 2002, crashing out again in the first round.

The country's Defence and Civil Protection Minister Moise Lida Kouassi has now asked for forgiveness for "the promises which weren't kept after the 1992 Nations Cup."

He offered the angry witch doctors a bottle of liquor and US$2,000 so that "the village, through the perceptiveness of its wise men, will continue to help the Republic and, in particular, the minister of sport."

See also:

29 Jan 02 |  Cup of Nations
DR Congo smash into quarter-finals
21 Jan 02 |  Cup of Nations
Ivorians denied
19 Feb 02 |  Africa
Ivorian FA boss resigns
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