1992 World Cup Semi Final South Africa Vs England South African Football

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South African Football

Now famous since the start of the 2010 World Cup the South African football team is affectionately known as “Bufana Bufana” which translates as “The boys”. The hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup has pushed South African football back into the limelight, however, as with the rest of South Africa’s history, things have not been straightforward. South African football was banned from FIFA (International Football) due to the apartheid system in the country, only returning to the World Stage in 1992 after a change in government policy regarding race.

South Africa discovered football through British soldiers playing the game in the nineteenth century. From the early days of football in South Africa until the end of Apartheid, South Africa’s national leagues were under the “all-white South African Football Association” with separate authorities and leagues for different colors and creeds. Along with Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan, South Africa founded the Confederation of African Football. However, when it became clear that South Africa’s constitution differed from FIFA’s anti-racist team policy, they were disqualified from competition after failing to meet a one-year deadline to comply with FIFA’s policy. England’s Sir Stanley Rous (FA president and later FIFA president) led a brief second invitation to World football for South Africa as he believed that football itself was suffering as a result of the ban and the the sport could die out in the country. , perhaps to the point of no return as young people grow up with no connection to the sport. This brief reintroduction ended with South Africa being relegated again as a result of the Soweto uprising in 1976. A decision made at the annual FIFA conference held in Tokyo.

In 1991 the apartheid system was coming to an end in South Africa and with it a new multi-racial football team was formed which was approved by FIFA. Their first competitive match against Cameroon took place on 7 July 1992, their first national match for over two decades. South Africa won the match 1-0 but of course there was a much bigger winner than the result of the match.

South Africa qualified for the World Cup Finals in 1998 and 2002, and gained automatic qualification for 2010 as they were the host nation. Unfortunately for South Africa they failed to qualify from the first group stage of any of these three championships. Despite this, they make a lasting impression on the World of football by hosting the tournament with vigor (they are the first African Nation to host the famous tournament) and the passion of their millions of fans. South Africa’s greatest success at International level came in 1996 when they won the Africa Cup of Nations, a tournament they hosted again. South African football warmed up to hosting the 2010 World Cup by staging the 2009 Confederations Games. This time they qualified from their group with a win over New Zealand, a draw against Iraq and a loss to European Champions Spain. South Africa’s hopes ended with a semi-final loss to World Famous Brazil.

It is hoped that the 2010 FIFA World Cup will provide a platform for South African football to recover from its wilderness years and can thrive for the sake of its football mad fans.

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