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 and a variety of knock-out cups, which are followed by brightly painted, cheering, passionate fans. Fortunately, the country is spared by the specter of football hooliganism.

There is probably no faster way to make friends with the black population than to demonstrate some knowledge of local football. To help you improve your communication skills in South Africa, there is a crash course on the most important teams and competitions here.


One of the first gifts democracy brought to South Africa was his first truly representative football team.

In 1992, two years before the first democratic elections, the South African national team was launched and played in its first match on 9 July in Durban against Kamarun. It was a triumphant event for the team known as “Bafana Bafana” – “The Boys” – who defeated the west African powerhouse one-to-one.

However, the won game, the negative effect that the apartheid isolation on football had only short-term conceal. The lack of international experience only became apparent when South Africa lost four games in a row – Cameroon, Zambia, Nigeria and Zambia – and failed to qualify for the 1994 African Nations Cup.

Two years later, in 1996, the South African national team was able to prove themselves as the host nation. In a thrilling final, the South African footballers beat Tunisia 2-0. During this tournament, the team earned its new nickname, Bafana Bafana.


South Africa Senior Women’s Team, Banyana Banyana – “The Girls” – traditionally the strongest team in Southern Africa and one of the best in Africa.

However, there is one hurdle that Banyana still has to overcome: Nigeria. Without the West African powerhouse, South Africa’s women would have been in the lead in the league table in recent years

Banyana Banyana was crowned 2002 and 2006 “Cosafa” (Confederation OF Southern African Football Associations) master. In the continental competition in the CAF African Women’s Championship, the team finished second in 2000 behind Nigeria and second in the All Africa Games in 2003 and 2007.

You most famous football clubs

Kaizer Chiefs

South Africa’s most popular football club does not seem to have any away games. “The Amakhozi” almost always have more supporters in the foreign stadiums than their opponents.

In 1970, Kaizer Motaung – who had made a name for herself in the American Liega at the time of celebrities such as Pele, Johan Cruyff and Franz Beckenbauer – founded one of the most successful South African teams.

The Soweto, Johannesburg-based team has won twice the title of South African Premier Soccer League since its founding in 1997. By winning the 2002 final against Inter Luanda of Angola, the team secured the “Cup Winners Cup”

Orlando Pirates

Founded in 1937, the club enjoys a fame and a reputation that transcends national borders.

Two-time winner of the SA Premier Soccer League since its founding in 1997. “The Buccaneers” as they are called, is the only South African team to win the “African Champions League” (1995)

Like Kaizer Chiefs, also based in Soweto, the Orlando Pirates are also rarely disadvantaged in away games as their fanatical followers are spread all over South Africa.

The fierce traditional rivalry between pirates and chiefs makes for one of the largest derbies in the world. In November 2007, the day before the 2010 FIFA World Cup draw in Durban, the Chiefs Pirates Derby was broadcast across Africa and 43 European countries, a premiere for South African football.

Mamelodi Sundowns

While Chiefs and Pirates have long fought for the title of the most popular club in South Africa, other clubs have gone into opposition, including two Tshwane / Pretoria-based clubs: Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United.

Backed by billionaire and mining magnate Patrice Motsepe, Mamelodi Sundowns have enough resources to ensure a high quality crew. The club is often compared to England’s Chelsea, which is funded by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

“The Brazilians”, as they are known, have been the most successful team since the founding of the Premier Soccer League in 1997 and have already won the title five times, most recently in 2007.

Super Sports United

Since then, however, the club had to surrender to a “youngster” among the South African clubs. The Club Pretoria City was bought in 1994 by the pay-TV company “M-Net” and renamed SuperSport United (a popular sports channel).

In recent years, SuperSport United has reaped the fruits of consistent work under coach Gavin Hunt, and one of the country’s most successful youth academies.

Premier Soccer League

South Africa’s top football league, with the top 16 clubs in the country, was founded in 1997.

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) has helped to significantly improve the standard of club football in South Africa. The media presence has been increased and revenue has been boosted by strong sponsorship agreements. The league thus provides a platform for local footballers to become the focus of the media and attract the interest of high-end overseas clubs.

Premier Soccer League Champions:

  • 2009/10: Super Sports United
  • 2008/09: Super Sports United
  • 2007/08: Super Sports United
  • 2006/07: Mamelodi Sundowns
  • 2005/06: Mamelodi Sundowns
  • 2004/05: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 2003/04: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 2002/03: Orlando Pirates
  • 2001/02: Santos
  • 2000/01: Orlando Pirates
  • 1999/00: Mamelodi Sundowns
  • 1998/99: Mamelodi Sundowns
  • 1997/98: Mamelodi Sundowns
  • 1996/97: Manning Rangers

Knockout competitions

A number of knockout competitions are played in addition to the league games of South African football.

Nedbank Cup

A knockout competition modeled after the famous FA England’s Cup, which gives the lower league teams the chance to play against the Premier League clubs. Since 1978 the Cup exists under different names: Mainstay Cup (1978-1987), Bobsave Superbowl (1988-2002), Absa Cup (2003-07) and since 2008: Nedbank Cup.
With prize money totaling 19.3 million rand, including R6 million for the winner, R2.5 million for the runner-up and R1 million for the losing semi-finalists, the Nedbank Cup is the most lucrative domestic football competition in Africa.
Nedbank Cup Champions:

  • 2010: Bidvest Wits
  • 2009: Moroka Swallows
  • 2008: Mamelodi Sundowns
  • 2007: Ajax Cape Town
  • 2006: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 2005: Super Sports United
  • 2004: Moroka Swallows
  • 2003: Santos
  • 2002: not played
  • 2001: Santos
  • 2000: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 1999: Super Sport United
  • 1998: Mamelodi Sundowns
  • 1997: not played
  • 1996: Orlando Pirates
  • 1995: Cape Town Spurs
  • 1994: Vaal Professionals
  • 1993: Witbank Aces
  • 1992: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 1991: Moroka Swallows
  • 1990: Jomo Cosmos
  • 1989: Moroka Swallows
  • 1988: Orlando Pirates
  • 1987: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 1986: Sundowns
  • 1985: Bloemfontein Celtic
  • 1984: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 1983: Moroka Swallows
  • 1982: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 1981: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 1980: Orlando Pirates
  • 1979: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 1978: Wits University

Telkom Knockout Cup

The Telkom Knockout Cup, which showcases all 16 Premier Soccer League teams, is the second most lucrative domestic competition after the Nedbank Cup.
The competition has been held since 1992 under a number of different names, including Coca-Cola Cup and Rothmans Cup.
In 2006 and 2007, Telkom became the new sponsor with R14.2 million in prize money. Including alone R4.25 million for the winner.
Telkom Cup Champions:

  • 2010: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 2009: not played
  • 2008: Ajax Cape Town
  • 2007: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 2006: Silver Stars
  • 2005: Jomo Cosmos
  • 2004: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 2003: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 2002: Jomo Cosmos
  • 2001: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 2000: Ajax Cape Town
  • 1999: Sundowns
  • 1998: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 1997: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 1996: Umtata Bucks
  • 1995: Wits University
  • 1994: Qwa Qwa stars
  • 1993: Umtata Bucks
  • 1992: Amazulu


The MTN 8 – formerly the top 8 and supa 8 – are at the beginning of each Premier Soccer League season and are contested by the top eight teams of last season.
Since the mobile operator MTN has taken over the event, now known as MTN 8 Knockout, as a sponsor, the tournament now offers a R8 million prize for the winner alone. Each team gets R800 000 for participation.
Top 8 Champions:

  • 2010: Orlando Pirates
  • 2009: Lamontville Golden Arrows
  • 2008: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 2007: Mamelodi Sundowns
  • 2006: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 2005: Bloemfontein Celtic
  • 2004: Super Sports United
  • 2003: Jomo Cosmos
  • 2002: Santos
  • 2001: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 2000: Orlando Pirates
  • 1996: Orlando Pirates
  • 1995: Wits University
  • 1994: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 1993: Orlando Pirates
  • 1992: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 1991: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 1990: Mamelodi Sundowns
  • 1989: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 1988: Mamelodi Sundowns
  • 1987: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 1986: Arcadia
  • 1985: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 1984: Wits University
  • 1983: Orlando Pirates
  • 1982: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 1981: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 1980: Witbank Black Aces
  • 1979: Moroka Swallows
  • 1978: Orlando Pirates
  • 1977: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 1976: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 1975: Moroka Swallows
  • 1974: Kaizer Chiefs
  • 1973: Orlando Pirates
  • 1972: Orlando Pirates

First Division

Below the Premier Soccer League there is the First Division, which is split into 2 groups, the Inland Stream and the Coastal Stream – both groups consist of eight teams each.
At the end of each season, the winners of both groups meet in a final. The winner of this final will be rewarded with a place in the Premier Soccer League.
The second-placed team still has a chance of promotion to PSL. This club participates in a mini-tournament and plays against the second two of the First Division and against the last of the PSL. The winner of this competition rises to the top league.

(Article translated into German Source: )

After the Football World Cup in South Africa, the next big football event is already on the program. World champion Spain is also in the football betting for the Euro 2012 clear favorite of the bookmaker (see ), and the German team trust the bookmakers at the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine a lot.