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Voodoo priest predicts Togo glory

 - Sunday 4 June 2006.

By Ebow Godwin
BBC News, Lome

Togo’s chief voodoo priest is predicting success for Togo’s football team at the World Cup in Germany.
"The ancestral spirits say that Togo will go far at the World Cup," Togbui Assiogbo Gnagblondjro III says.

His prediction is giving hope to fans angered with their players’ lacklustre performance and a demand of $200,000 each to take part in the tournament.

Togbui, who will travel to Germany for the matches, said certain rituals will be performed to ensure their success.

"We are going to perform wonders with many things. But I cannot tell you how, because you are not an initiated member of the voodoo," he said when I visited the voodoo mystic in the village of Vogan about 45km from the capital, Lome.

He said that Togo will definitely beat South Korea and France to get to the next round and he would be able to predict the actual scores two days before the matches.

As the chief voodoo fetish priest, Togbui Assiogbo Gnagblondjro is the traditional spiritual intermediary between the living and the ancestral spirits of those who have died and gone to the world beyond.

He claims the team’s bad performance during the African Nations Cup in January was because it ignored the powers of voodoo.

"They asked the churches to do the prayers, and you saw the results," he said.

"I myself will be going to Germany with my traditional Voodoo attire, because you cannot sit down here in Togo and say Togo will win. But Togo will win."

Togo’s government, meanwhile, has donated $500,000 for 100 Togolese football fans to travel to Germany to cheer on the team.