Monthly Archives: July 2019

How did sports heal South Africa? (Part 2)

The Apartheid government soon realized that they had made a serious mistake when organizing the friendly match, so after that, football was severely suppressed in this country, to the point that white players had to retire. In schools, football is replaced by other sports such as Cricket and Rugby. Six years later, South African football was “revived” after the FIFA ban, when Sono reappeared as a hero to save the country’s football. After the feat of scoring four goals in the Argentina net, Sono went to the United States to play for New York Cosmos club, playing alongside the names of world football names such as: Pele, Beckenbauer … Earning good amount of money, in 1982, Sono returned to his hometown, bought Highland Park, the symbol of Apartheid regime. On the FIFA website on that day there was an article about the event: “It was a trade event that symbolized significance during the time when colored people were suppressed by the Apartheid regime. FIFA appreciates Sono’s work as a part of bringing South African football back to world football.

Rugby, football in South African society

Last week, the owner and team coach Jomo Cosmos (new name of Highland Park team) Sono sent deep condolences to the family of Joost van der Westhuizen-player who went into history with the victory to rise South Africa in Rugby World Cup championship 1995. On February 6, after 6 years of fighting Parkinson’s disease, Joost van der Westhuizen died at age 45 at his home.

For rugby lovers in South Africa, Joost van der Westhuizen is considered an irreplaceable legend. He made 89 appearances in the national team stage of 1993-2003 and was a key player in helping South Africa to win the Rugby World Cup 1995.

We returned to South Africa in the 60s of the last century, the rugby tournaments here included all black players, without any white players. We would imagine no football match having white player. In South African society at that time, people of color and white as on two parallel lines.