The History of South African Football - Part 6

Memba Ben By Memba Ben, 9th Jul 2018 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/24ap4a2p/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Sports>Football (Soccer)

Part 6 of a series exploring the evolution of South African football to its current state. In this part, we look at how the Soweto uprisings played a role in the formation of the new NPSL.

Out of chaos comes order.

In 1976, the Soweto uprisings changed everything.

Despite the Apartheid governments best efforts to gag the press, visuals of the brutality were shared around the globe and the world in itself began to understand just how bad things were in South Africa.

Now up until this point, FIFA was the only international governing body that didn't expel South Africa but when the reality of Apartheid came to light, they could no longer avoid the matter and formally expelled South Africa, which essentially left FASA powerless. Now FASA could’ve continued their isolation but the teams within FASAs administration grew reluctant to the idea of things continuing the way they were.

A year before the Soweto uprisings took place, the FASA hosted the Chevrolet Cup of Champions (which was a super cup of sorts) between the winners of the all-white NSL (Hellenic who have since sold their franchise licence) and the winners of the NPSL (Kaizer Chiefs). While Hellenic won the tie 5 - 2 on aggregate, Kaizer Chiefs became the first African team to defeat an all-white team when they won the second leg 2-1.

Years prior to the Chevrolet cup, the FASA and SASF had (miraculously) worked together to host a series of matches between a white-only team and a black-only team. While the blacks- only team tried their best, the score lines from the games indicate that it wasn’t much of a contest so one can only imagine the type of psychological impact Kaizer Chiefs winning must’ve had on the footballing fraternity.

As always, football mirrored the happenings of society and social change began to take place. In an effort to fight racism, teams within the NFL opted to join the NPSL. The move was welcomed by the SASF and it resulted in the end of the NPL and FASA as the governing body of South African football. The SASF also dissolved and were replaced by the Football Council of South Africa, who became the sole governing body of South African football.

All the other leagues were dissolved and the final structure of football in South Africa was that there was the topflight NPSL and the lower divisions. Teams that formed part of the previously unaffiliated leagues ended up in lower divisions (one of them being Mamelodi Sundowns).

For the first time in South African footballing history, there was one governing body that controlled all matters across all races. For the first time in South African football, there was a minority (George Thebe) in charge of all football related matters and for the first time in South African football, there was one league with teams of all races.

If you missed earlier installments of the series:






Sources include:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Premier_Soccer_League
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_Premier_Division
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Football_League_(South_Africa)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Professional_Soccer_League_(South_Africa)

Tags

History, Soccer, South Africa

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author avatar Memba Ben
A fan's view on the business of football.

If you've got the time, please check out my photography collection:
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