‘Transformation’ from Above - The Upside-Down State of Contemporary South African Soccer

For the better part of the past century, the most popular sport in South Africa (both in relation to public entertainment and active participation) has been soccer. From its initial introduction into South Africa as a sport played almost solely by the propertied (white) gentry, soccer quickly became, by the turn of the twentieth century, the sport of choice amongst the non-white population and white lower classes. Not surprisingly, this rapid spread in popularity set off alarm bells within the corridors of (white) political and economic power, as “soccer became emblematic of threatening, socially integrative forces within society…”.1 For the next several decades, soccer became the bête noir of the racist white establishment, who successively used all means at their disposal, including the extensive powers of the apartheid state, to promote and support (white) sports such as rugby and cricket as well as to suppress and control the social, economic and political reach and impact of the (black) sport of soccer.

Date
: 17 August 2010
Author
: Dr. Dale T. McKinley
Publication
: Paper
Publication Page
: 21
URL Download
Media Type
: Article
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