Thursday, May 27, 2010

Can Football bridge the race gap in South Africa?

As we all get prepared for the thrilling games of the 2010 World Cup, one issue that is rumbling below the surface is the one of race relations in the host nation South Africa. Even after the downfall of Apartheid there is a massive divide in the identities and feelings between Blacks and Whites. This is best shown through attendance in the two most popular sports Football and Rugby. While Football has now been integrated and is mainly a "Black sport", Rugby is still a largely White sport and the Springbok (National Rugby team) sign of White Afrikaner nationalism.

As Farouk Chothia's article below states, the 1995 Rugby World Cup was seen as a bridging moment in which hate might have finally been buried. The film Invictus portrays the story, however it does not display the disharmony that took place afterwards in which racism showed it ugly head again. This question now becomes, can the World Cup of Football do what the Rugby one could not? Bring the isolated and divided peoples of South Africa together to support not just Bafana Banfana, but each other.

Click here for Farouk Chothia's article, a must read.


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