Tokyo Sexwale has since made his intentions to run for the FIFA presidency known to the world. For many it might seem that this is yet another case of South Africa punching above their weight. So to correct misconception, we thought we would take this opportunity to share some historic facts that you might not know about South Africa in relation to world football.
Top five historic facts about South Africa and world football:
5) Did you know that in 1898, there was a team known as the Orange Free State Bantu Football Club which toured England, becoming the first South African team to play in Europe? The team played 49 matches over a six month period and marked the first documented black association in SA football history.
4) Did you know that in 1906 there was another team made up of white players who toured to South America where they played as the Springboks? They played an unofficial team in Brazil, made up of a selection of players from clubs in Sao Paolo where they lost 6-0. From Sao Paolo they crossed over to Buenos Aires where they beat Argentina 1-0 on the 09 of July 1906. Though the official score line as reported by the Argentineans, there are other reports by way of newspaper clippings which indicate that the score ended 1-4
3) Did you know that the South African Football Association was originally founded in 1882, then later renamed Football Association of South Africa only to revert back. In 1909, South Africa became the first country outside Europe to join FIFA. This was before Argentina and Chile in 1912 and the USA in 1913. Before us joining, FIFA only had 7 member countries. Namely: France, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
2) After the Union of South Africa was established in 1910, thereafter there were some more international fixtures. In 1924 a Springbok touring team which was made up of white players from all over the country thus constituting one of the first recorded genuine national team played 26 matches while travelling through England, Ireland, North Ireland and Netherlands.
1) South Africa played a key role in establishing what is known as the Confederation of African Football in 1957. This was based on discussion held at the FIFA congress of 1956. South Africa alongside Egypt and Sudan launched what is now known as CAF, only to be expelled immediately thereafter due to their internal sports policy of no-mixed raced sport.
For more priceless facts about South Africa football, look up a book titled The Politics of South African Football by Oshebeng Alphie Koonyaditse. The book gives an inspiring account of the event-filled journey from the late 1800’s to that memorable Saturday of May 15, 2004, when South Africa were awarded the rights to host the FIFA World Cup tournament in 2010.