Category Archives: South African Sports

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.

How did sports heal South Africa? (Part 1)

In order to bring the 2010 World Cup to South Africa, there was a real war in FIFA. Because at the time of the 2004 vote, many skeptics of South Africa could successfully organize the biggest football festival on the planet.

But before talking about the 2010 World Cup or Apartheid’s racist regime, to mention Rugby, sports has contributed to heal the people of this richest African country.

A year before the 2010 World Cup, director Eastwood produced the movie “Invictus”, describing the victory of the South African team at the Rugby World Cup 1995, with the role of President Nelson Mandela. The language is an unscathed sports movie but “Invictus” has a total budget of 62 million USD. The film about the Rugby World Cup in 1995 but discusses the struggle against racism that has remained since the post-Apartheid era. Movie “Invictus” about Rugby, but actually, the story is about football. That’s right, because one year after “Invictus” premiered, the 2010 World Cup kicked off in South Africa.

In April 1963, the South African government closed all stadiums. People of color have an excuse to carry out protests for fairness but all methods are ineffective. In response to the public’s request, in 1976, the South African government organized a terrible football match: the white team played against the colored team. In 1976 and 1977, there were three political “smells” like this that took place in the Rand Stadium with the victory of the white team. In order to appease the reaction of the public and the international community, on March 16, 1976, South Africa invited the Argentine team to join friendly football. For the first time, there was a South African football team with a mix of colored, white leather. However, on the Rand stadium stands, with a capacity of more than 3 ten thousand spectators, white and colored fans still have to sit in the different lots.