South Africa Table Mountain

Soccer in South Africa, the people’s game and
the Bafana Bafana, the people’s team

Soccer in South Africa is the most popular and widely played sport in our country. It is the people’s game world wide and it has especially won the hearts of South Africa’s black people.

Their love and passion for soccer is running so deep, that they spend a large portion of their weekends in attending soccer events or watching soccer on television. Socially it is one of the major topics of discussion.


Black soccer players in South Africa are well known for their great and often stunning ball-sense and technical skills when they play the game. School teams and local and national league teams plus a multitude of knock-out cups, are followed with the same passion as in many other countries, by paint-daubed, costumed, whistling and cheering fans. Thankfully, the country has been spared the monstrosity of football hooliganism.

Bafana Bafana striker Benni McCarthy in action - Soccer in South Africa, Bafana Bafana South African Soccer Team
Bafana Bafana striker Benni McCarthy in action
Soccer in South Africa, Bafana Bafana South African Soccer Team
copyright © South African tourism

Although South Africa is by no means a giant in the world of soccer, the quality of the local game keeps improving. An important factor here is the increasing number of South Africans playing for the glamorous European clubs, where they pick up a lot of new experience andskills. This growth in quality showed in one of the country’s proudest soccer moments, when it won the African Nations Cup on home turf in 1996.

Kaiser Chiefs of South Africa vs Manchester United of England - Soccer in South Africa, Bafana Bafana South African Soccer Team
Kaiser Chiefs of South Africa vs Manchester United of England
Soccer in South Africa, Bafana Bafana South African Soccer Team
Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com

For many South Africans this was a proud moment and was then that we affectionately started nicknaming our national soccer team the “Bafana Bafana”, which means “The Boys”. They qualified twice for the world’s premier soccer event, the World Cup. For African standards this no mean feat. When in South Africa, There is probably no quicker way to “break the ice” with the man in the street than starting a conversation about soccer.

The Soccer City stadium at Johannesburg - Soccer in South Africa, Bafana Bafana South African Soccer Team
The Soccer City stadium at Johannesburg
Soccer in South Africa, Bafana Bafana South African Soccer Team>br>Photo: City of Johannesburg

South Africa's Premier Soccer League (PSL), featuring the country's best 16 clubs, came into being in 1997. The PSL has helped raise the standard of club football in South Africa, providing the sport with excellent facilities, better media coverage and much-improved revenue through strong sponsorship deals. It has also provided a platform for local players to make their mark and catch the eye of overseas clubs.
Bafana Bafana striker Siyabonga Nomvete in action - Bafana Bafana South African Soccer Team
Bafana Bafana striker Siyabonga Nomvete in action
Bafana Bafana South African Soccer Team
copyright © South African tourism

Some famous soccer clubs in South Africa are Orlando Pirates, Kaizer chiefs, Moroka Swallows, Mamelodi sundowns, Ajax Cape Town and Blackburn Rovers, to name only a few. The most feared of these soccer giants are Orlando Pirates and Kaizer chiefs, having become legends of their own. Whether playing for a cup, league points or merely a friendly match, a clash between these two is the most talked about soccer derby in South Africa.

Cheering supporter of the South African football team, holding a Vuvuzela trumpet - Soccer in South Africa, Bafana Bafana South African Soccer Team
Cheering supporter of the Bafana Bafana, holding a Vuvuzela trumpet
Soccer in South Africa, Bafana Bafana South African Soccer Team
copyright © South African tourism

The best is yet to come, when South Africa will host the Fifa World Cup of soccer in 2010. It is the first time the world’s top event in soccer will be held on the African continent and it is reported to be the biggest one yet. The 2010 World Cup euphoria in South Africa is one that will never die for many years to come. With preparations already in their final stages, the tournament will take place from 11 June 2010 to 11 July 2010 in nine host cities.

The Peter Mokaba stadium at Polokwane in the Limpopo province - Soccer in South Africa, Bafana Bafana South African Soccer Team
The Peter Mokaba stadium at Polokwane in the Limpopo province
Soccer in South Africa, Bafana Bafana South African Soccer Team
copyright © Charles Heiman - iMedi8 Photographic

With a total of 60 stadiums, South Africa is home of more then 20 world-class stadiums capable of accommodating tens of thousands of spectators in comfort. 13 of them have a capacity of more then 50,000 spectators. The 2010 Fifa World Cup will add a host of new outstanding stadiums to the existing list, such as Soccer City in Johannesburg capacity 104,000, the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban capacity 70,000 and a number of others.

Adrenaline in overdrive of Bafana Bafana supporters - Soccer in South Africa, Bafana Bafana South African Soccer Team
Adrenaline in overdrive of Bafana Bafana supporters
Soccer in South Africa, Bafana Bafana South African Soccer Team
copyright © South African tourism







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Girl enjoying one of the South Africa beaches

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Aerial view of Cape Town and Table Mountain in South Africa

Modern highway network in Port Elizabeth, South Africa


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