MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican soccer fans are turning to voodoo to beat the United States, with help from an American electronics company.
The teams meet Feb. 11 in Columbus, Ohio, in the first game of the final round of regional qualifying for the 2010 World Cup. Mexico has not beaten the United States on American soil in 10 years.
An advertisement in the sports newspaper Record on Tuesday invited fans to clip coupons and redeem them at their local Radio Shack store for a voodoo-doll likeness of a U.S. player. The hope was that a little black magic might help Mexico break its decade of futility.
"Help end the losing streak so Mexico advances," the ad read.
An illustration showed a pair of scissors slicing off the leg of a doll in a U.S. jersey that was bruised, crying out in pain, leaking stuffing and stuck with pushpins.
"We imagine a group of young people gathered around the TV supporting Mexico and applying punishments to our rivals so that the team can qualify," Record said in a statement.
Daniel Paz, marketing manager for the newspaper, told The Associated Press the promotion was a lighthearted attempt to make next month's rivalry game more enjoyable for fans.
"It's a toy," Paz said. "There's no intention of being anything serious."
The media office of Radio Shack in Fort Worth, Texas, did not immediately return phone calls and e-mails, but the company's Mexico office confirmed its participation.
Record said it has created 10,000 dolls and plans to expand the promotion to include effigies representing the other finalists in North and Central America and the Caribbean: Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador and Trinidad and Tobago.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.