Every country has a certain characteristic of its own. Each place has a certain charm to it which cannot be found anywhere else. For America, it is their independent lifestyle, for India, it is their culture heritage and likewise.
When one talks of South Africa, the thing that makes this country so adorable is its amazing energy. This country, located in the southern part of the African continent, is known for its vibrant lifestyle and jovial people.
And one of the many things that lend the place the jovial character is sports. People are crazy about sports here. Of the many sports that people play and follow here, the three top most ones are Cricket, Soccer and Rugby. But surely, like most other parts of the world, Soccer takes the cake here too.
The craze for Soccer is just never ending here. And with the coming of the Soccer world cup, 2010, the craze has just gone wilder. What makes this moment more special is the fact that South Africa is the first African nation to host a Soccer world cup. That just goes to show the love people have for the game.
Talking of Soccer in South Africa, the national team of South Africa is called Bafana Bafana in local language. Bafana Bafana literally means “the Boys”. Soccer in South Africa is governed by South African Soccer Association, which is national body looking after the very day affairs of the game.
Although Soccer in South Africa is a huge hit, yet, the national team has not been able to achieve much on the international stage. The team’s highest achievement thus far has been wining the African Nations Cup in 1996. The national team even failed to qualify for the quarter finals in the ongoing FIFA world cup. It is the first host nation which failed to clear the group stage.
However, a positive did emerge from the South African team’s world cup campaign in the form of Tshabalala. He became the first South African player to score a goal in the world cup.
But the journey of Soccer in South Africa has not been easy. It was only in the year 1992 that the national team was allowed to play international matches. Prior to that, the Apartheid system prohibited South African players to play any sport on the international stage including Cricket and Rugby.
Soccer in South Africa has seen a lot of changes since it first arrived in the country in the 19th century, when the game was very popular amidst the British soldiers. Since then, the game has seen many an obstacles and has managed to overcome each one of them to reach where it has today.
Although South Africans have not been able to achieve on the international circuit, chances are that if they keep progressing at the pace they are doing right now; the day is not far when the South African team would be a force to reckon with.