Soccer in South Africa
Football - or soccer - is the most commonly played sport in South Africa, with its traditional support base in the black community. For many South Africans the country's proudest sporting moment came when we won the Africa Cup of Nations on home turf in 1996 - having failed even to qualify for the previous cup. The South African soccer fans follow the game intensely and have great pride in the home team.
The South Africa national football team, officially known as Bafana Bafana or “The Boys”, is controlled by the South African Football Association. It has only returned to the world stage relatively recently, after years of being banned from FIFA. It was allowed to join again after a long process to rid football in South Africa of all its past racial division.
The South African Football Association (SAFA) was founded on 8 December, 1991, the culmination of four different units joined to form the organization in Johannesburg to set South African soccer on the road to a return to international competition after many years of apartheid in soccer.
After the reinstatement at FIFA the team made its International Debut against Cameroon on the 7th July, 1992 in Durban.
SAFA's biggest success has been with the achievements of the national teams. Bafana Bafana, the Under-23 National Team and Banyana Banyana – the Women's Senior National Team have become hugely popular in South Africa.
All of South Africa’s national teams have won astonishing support from the countries people.
South Africa have recently failed to impress local supporters by not scoring a single goal in the African Nations Cup 2006. In light of these poor performances it was decided that the hiring of a more experienced manager was essential. Rumours that England coach Sven-Göran Eriksson was offered R30 million to take Bafana-Bafana to glory in 2010. However this turned out to be untrue. More recently former Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has accepted the challenging job of taking “The Boys” to the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Upon accepting the job, Parreira was awarded R100 million for a four year contract, a huge amount of money for a third world country to be paying a soccer coach. Parreira and his assistant arrived and started work in SA in January 2007, however problems have surfaced that both men are in South Africa without proper work permits.
The South African National side have had a hard time in previous World Cups, in 1930 to 1962 they did not enter; then for the many years of apartheid between 1966 and 1990 the South African national side were banned from FIFA. Reinstated to FIFA in 1990, SA took part in the qualifiers for the 2004 World Cup, however they failed to qualify. The following 2 World cups were better for Bafana Bafana however when they reached round 1, then in 2006, again failure to qualify held the team back again. 2010 is the year for South Africa and the team automatically qualifies as host nation and with the coming years to prepare with a world class coach, could 2010 be South African Footballs year?
South African Football Teams
Ajax Cape Town
Benoni Premier United