Prosecutors in the host country of 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup, Colombia, are investigating why organisers paid a “shaman” $2,000 to keep rain away from the closing ceremony of the tournament, BBC reports.
The inquiry was launched after it was revealed that the total cost of running the competition amounted to $1m.
The shaman, Jorge Elias Gonzalez, 64, says he uses dowsing to chase away or attract rain.
The event’s organisers defended their decision to use him, noting that the final event was indeed rain-free.
The closing ceremony in Bogota’s El Campin stadium on 20 August last year remained dry – a stark contrast with the opening event in Barranquilla a month earlier that was drenched.
Ana Marta de Pizarro, the anthropologist and theatre director who was in charge of the ceremony, used this argument to defend the hiring of a rain stopper.
“Had it rained, the event would not have taken place. It didn’t rain on the ceremony, it was successful and I would use him again if I needed to,” she said.
The “rain-stopper” as he is fondly called by the Colombian media, also revealed in an interview with a local radio station on Wednesday that he was hired to keep the rain away from the swearing-in ceremony of President Juan Manuel Santos.