Mayo aren't the only team subjected to the curious case of sporting "curses"

Mayo senior footballers are not the only sports team associated with a mythified jinx

BY Raf Diallo 16:32 Saturday 17 September 2016, 16:32 17 Sep 2016

Mayo's Lee Keegan distraught after the 2013 All-Ireland final ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

As many have pointed out, with the exception of 1996, Mayo probably didn't deserve to win any of the seven All-Ireland football finals they have contested since their last victory in 1951.

That in itself should put any talk of curses to bed.

In short, the so-called "curse" in the case of Mayo's originates from a story that the team that won the All-Ireland did not pay respects at a funeral that they passed in Foxford on the way home from Dublin.

The story then goes that a priest then placed a curse on the county team, saying that Mayo wouldn't win another All-Ireland while all members of the 1951 team are alive. There are currently two living members of the 1951 team. 

The far-fetched story has been debunked with witnesses casting doubts about the funeral story.

Either way, the Mayo senior footballers aren't the only sports team to have been subjected to talk over so-called curses.

A famous case is that of Portuguese soccer giants Benfica who have continued to win league titles across the decades.

Led by Eusebio, the club won back-to-back European Cups in 1961 and 1962 to end the great Real Madrid era.

Bela Guttman, Benfica Coach. Picture by: S&G / S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Sport

Manager for those triumphs was Hungarian Bela Guttmann who left the club after disagreements over a potential pay rise.

Rumour has it that Guttmann "cursed" the club, saying that they would never win another European trophy for another 100 years.

While we'll have to accept conventional wisdom that curses are non-existent, Benfica have been in five European Cup finals and three Europa League/UEFA Cup finals since 1962 and lost every time.

They'll have to be patient though if the curse story is remotely true, as it would run out in 2062. 

In golf, there's a "curse" related to the Masters which states that the winner of the Par 3 competition before the Augusta tournament begins never goes on to win the tournament proper.

That dates back to 1960, with the winner of the Par 3 competition not winning the Masters in the same year. Jimmy Walker was the "victim" of that curse this year by winning the Par 3 competition.

In international basketball, there is a so-called Croatia Curse. In 1995, Croatia finished third in the FIBA European Championships.

But when it came time for gold medal winners Yugoslavia to be presented on the podium, Croatia stepped off the podium and walked off.

This took place as the Balkans War was just coming towards an end in the region.

Since then, a side that had always managed podium finishes at major basketball tournaments since becoming a state in the early 1990s, has not been able to set foot on one or win a medal of any description. Allegedly Croatia's curse is due to last for 95 years. 

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David Brady skewers the 'Jim McGuinness helping out Mayo' story live on Off The Ball

14:56 Saturday 17 September 2016 0 Minute Read
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