The South Sudanese eagerly awaited wrestling encounter bringing together Central Equatoria and Lakes State scheduled for this weekend hangs in limbo due to tough demands tabled by two main participants.

The event’s organisers face an uphill task of persuading Lukojo Achot of Equatoria and Majang Mangar from Lakes to loosen their crazy requirements ahead of the clash that would bring the country’s capital, Juba to a standstill.

In the championship that has pulled 25 wrestlers for action slated for August 28, it is the urgent requests from Achot and Mangar side’s that may hold the contests hostage.

According to The City Review, Achot demands that he will only wrestle Mangar if he agrees to remove the ‘ivory task’ on his wrist gifted by his father, a retired wrestler.

“Achot wants Mangar to remove the ivory task which he is wearing on his right hand to avoid bruises and injury to his opponent (Mangar) but he is refusing to do so,” one of the organisers told The City Review.

On the other hand, Mangar has also confirmed that he will get rid of his ‘paraphernalia’ on one condition that his father permits so.

“His father said that if anyone wants to remove the ivory task on his son’s hand, they should be given his number to talk to him in the village,” the source continued.

However, these requests may not be met on time as the long distance between Mangar and his father deep in the village and the language barrier between the two have emerged as the shambling block in the mission. Phone calls cannot even solve the existing puzzle due to poor internet connectivity.

Achot’s supporters are also asking that the wrestler should be heard and his demands be met.

“The probability of the match taking place is 50-50 unless these conditions are met,” Martin Juma Buya said.

Mangar insists that he has been wrestling with the ‘ivory task’ and caused no harm to his opponents. He also faults Achot for previously taking it to the ring with a lion’s hide, further arguing that the gesture belittles the fiercest king of the jungle, in regards to his community’s beliefs.

“Lukojo used to come out of pitch to face his opponent when with a lion’s skin tighten around his waist. But according to our traditional belief, a lion is our relative (small god). In Ateny Dior culture, we swear using the lion’s name [and] not God. But Achot killed our small god and boasts about it. I must take revenge,” Mangar said through his handlers.

The game which is aimed at promoting peaceful co-existence in the community is planned to go down at Dr John Garang Primary School Playing Ground – New Site Field this weekend.

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