Soccer is the most popular sport in South Africa. It is estimated that more than two million people play the sport, while many more follow the game at international and club level. The beautiful game brings people together and brings the country to life.

Did you know?

Benni McCarthy, who scored 32 goals for South Africa, provided vocals for the TKZee single Shibobo,which sold 100 000 copies in its first month.

South Africa hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup, becoming the first African country to stage the event. Despite some concerns over South Africa's ability to host the tournament, it was incredibly successful and South Africa was commended for its role as a host nation.

The national team, affectionately known as Bafana Bafana (the Boys), hasn’t always produced the greatest results but draws a large following because of its aesthetically pleasing style of play.

Apart from the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations, Bafana Bafana have not won a major tournament. Although the team failed to make it to the second round of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, a 1-1 draw with Mexico and a 2-1 win against France in the group stages were highly commendable performances.

There are several domestic competitions in South Africa, the most prominent of which is the Premier Soccer League, or PSL, which was founded in 1996.

At domestic level, South Africa’s biggest soccer rivalry lies between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, who both hail from Soweto. Matches between these two sides are known as the 'Soweto Derby', and almost always draw capacity crowds.

Kaizer Chiefs supporters greet each other with a traditional 'peace' signal (index and middle fingers raised, back of hand facing backwards), while Orlando Pirates fans clench their fists and cross their arms to resemble a skull a crossbones.

Some retired South African footballers have become top businessmen and are now club owners, such as Kaizer Motaung (Kaizer Chiefs) and Jomo Sono (Jomo Cosmos).

South African soccer fans are known around the world for their love of noise and celebration. Creative attire and instruments such as the vuvuzela (a plastic horn) are commonplace on match day.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

South African Football Association
Tel: +27 (0)11 567 2010

Best time to visit

Soccer is played throughout the year in South Africa.

Best buys

Get yourself a vuvuzela and join in the festivities.