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The World Cup Record of South Africa

The World Cup Record of South Africa

South Africa is known for its rugby and cricket teams but football is also a part of its rich heritage.

The sport is popular in the country as shown by the glorious 2010 World Cup which captivated the nation and saw top real money casinos flourish as fans flocked to show their support for the team.

And of course, there is no greater celebration of the football heritage of a nation than the World Cup.

So let us look at the World Cup record of South Africa and how they fared in each tournament.

South Africa in World Cups

The South African National Football Team or the Bafana Bafana have played three World Cups in total.

These include the 1998, 2002, and 2010 World Cup editions.

In all these editions, South Africa could not make it past the group stage.

Out of these, the 2010 edition was hosted by them so they received an automatic qualification.

While this may seem underwhelming at first but when you consider the fact that this record is from 1994 onwards, it makes for much better reading.

Ban from FIFA

The reason why South Africa did not enter most of the World Cups from the 1960s onwards was that it was the Apartheid era.

Due to the racial segregation, FIFA banned them in 1961 and they remained banned for around 30 years and only reentered the qualification phase for the 1994 edition.

This of course happened after the abolishment of the Apartheid regimen.

The 1998 World Cup

This was the first time South Africa appeared in the World Cup. They were drawn with France, Denmark, and Saudi Arabia.

France fans were confident of winning the group with the local jeux de casino enjoyed by fans after they beat them. South Africa then drew vs both Denmark and Saudi Arabia.

They had youngsters like Benni McCarthy and Quinton Fortune and would rue not taking three points v Denmark who qualified in their place.

The 2002 World Cup

Here South Africa was desperately unlucky.

They had the same points and the same goal difference as Paraguay but could not qualify because they scored one goal less.

In a group with Spain, Paraguay, and Slovenia, they won v Slovenia, lost to Spain and drew against Paraguay.

Perhaps they could have scored one more v Slovenia instead of the solitary goal.

The 2010 World Cup

Amidst all the festivities of the World Cup, South Africa did not let themselves down.

They could not qualify on goal difference but in a group with stalwarts like Uruguay, Mexico, and France, they did not bow down easy.

They drew against Mexico where Tshabalala scored the famous first goal of the World Cup. They lost to Diego Forlan inspired Uruguay.

In their last game, they beat France to get four respectable points.

The Future

What South Africa needs is a domestic league with International standards that can export talents to Europe who can then perform for the country. That is of course what head coach Molefi Ntseki thinks.

Bottom Line

South Africa is a vibrant sporting nation and with all their past issues behind them, they can now look at some footballing success in the coming years.

And if players like Steven Pienaar and Benni McCarthy can come through regularly, the future of South African Football looks bright.

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