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Maureen Isaacson on the History of South African Football

The Politics of South African FootballReferring to Oshebeng Alphie Koonyaditse’s The Politics of South African Football, Maureen Isaacson provides some answers to a series of “Did You Know” questions regarding the history of football in South Africa – and in more detail than the infamous Chappies wrappers whose fun facts are often pitted with grammar mistakes. With the kick-off of the 2010 FIFA World Cup today, her choice of theme is most appropriate:

Did you know that when the vuvuzela came into view at the 2009 Confederations Cup it was considered too noisy and some European players complained that it was distracting? But Fifa ruled that they wouldn’t want to “Europeanise an African World Cup?”
Oshebeng Alphie Koonyaditse, the author of The Politics of South African Football,(African Perspectives), who has a soccer show on Motsweding FM also reminds us of the truth behind Bafana Bafana’s name, which is the brainchild of the Sowetan newsroom. Reporters Sello Rabothata, Molefi Mika and S’Busiso Mseleku are said to be the spark behind the the name and it is now legend that when the team was not performing well then President Thabo Mbeki, who could not abide the monicker, requested “something better for the national team”.

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