Football – or soccer, as it is known in English – is the most played sport in South Africa, with its traditional base in the black community. For many South Africans, the proudest moment in their lives was when South Africa won the 1996 African Nations Cup on home soil.
Football is a hot favorite and the quality of local games is constantly improving – as evidenced by an increasing number of South African players overseas, including the glamorous European clubs.
The local teams play in a national league ….. read on
FIFA World Cup 2010 – Soccer Stadiums
Greenpoint Stadium, Cape Town
Cape Town built a new stadium for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. The stadium is situated in the suburb of Green Point, which the stadium is also named after. Fans are a stone’s throw from the ocean and the mountains of Cape Town are the the backdrop for matches. The location is ideal as it is a short walk from the transportation hub of the city.
Green Point stadium has a gross seating capacity of 70,000
Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban
Durban has had a long foot balling history. The first league was started in the KwaZulu-Natal Province.
The biggest match the city has hosted was when South Africa played a full strength England national team in 2002. Durban was also the venue for South Africa’s first post-apartheid game when they played Cameroon, winning1-0 at King’s Park. The city also hosted group, quarter and semi-final matches during the 1996 CAF Africa Cup of Nations. Tunisia secured their place in the final when they beat Zambia 4-2.
The new Durban stadium has a gross seating capacity of 70,000, and the design of the stadium is characterized by two large archways which arc 100 meters above the stadium roof.
The new three-tiered stadium is part of the Durban’s King Park sporting precinct. The sporting precinct includes a variety of different sporting disciplines including athletics, rugby, golf and swimming.
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Before the Worldcup in 2010, P.E. did not have a dedicated football stadium. All international matches were played at the Eastern Province rugby team’s ground, including the 2005 Nelson Mandela Challenge between South Africa and Senegal at the rugby union stadium.
Despite not having a team in the Premier Soccer League, the city is exceptionally passionate about football. Whenever football games are staged, it is always to a capacity crowd.
The stadium was built on the North End Lake, which makes an idyllic setting for match days. The features include a three-tier design with two rings of sky boxes.
Peter Mokaba Complex , Polokwane (Limpopo)
Polokwane was also building a new stadium for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, situated in the Peter Mokaba Sports Complex. The stadium is approximately 5km from the city center, with a gross seating capacity of 45,000.
It was a welcome addition to the Limpopo Province. They have the largest number of registered football players in South Africa.
The sporting complex was named after the late Peter Mokaba, who was a political activist during apartheid. He was born and bred in Polokwane and was renowned for his fighting spirit and for being an inspiring leader.
Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Mbombela Stadium is also a new stadium constructed for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. It became a much welcomed addition to the football life in Nelspruit, and left a legacy of the beautiful game for the people of Mpumalanga.
Mbombela takes its name from the name local municipality, which incorporates the city of Nelspruit. Mbombela is siSwati and literally means ‘many people together in a small space’.
The stadium has a rounded rectangular shape which ensures that all seats have a good view of the action on the field.
The stadium is approximately seven kilometers from the city center and 12 kilometers from the nearby Kruger-Mpumalanga Airport. It is also in close proximity to game parks, giving spectators the opportunity of seeing wildlife during rest days.
The stadium has a gross seating capacity of 46,000.
Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg
Soccer City can quite rightfully call itself the home of football in South Africa. In the mid 1980s, football officials came together to build the first international football stadium in the country and the construction was funded from the football fraternity’s coffers.
Soccer City hosted the first mass rally of Nelson Mandela after his release in 1990. Thousands of mourners lamented Chris Hani’s assassination at the stadium in 1993. It was also the venue for the 1996 CAF Africa Cup of Nations finals, with South Africa eventually triumphing.
It is also a neighbour to the home of the South African Football Association and its new headquarters, the SAFA House.
Soccer City was the flagship stadium for the first FIFA World Cup™ in Africa. The design is unique and unusual as the outer part of the stadium is designed to resemble an African pot. About 40 percent of Jo burg’s population live in Soweto, in close proximity to Soccer City. This made the stadium a hub of activity during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
It currently seats 80,000 people, but after its planned upgrade should seat 94,700.