15 Things You Didn’t Know About Bafana Bafana

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Written by Keren Mikva

South Africans have a mixed relationship with their national football team, as they are supported with pride and passion, but have disappointed local fans on many occasions by failing to qualify for tournaments such as the World Cup and the African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Despite the many disappointments, the country’s fans continue to expect better from their heroes in green and gold, in the hopes that a sports mad nation can add football to their sporting powers alongside cricket and rugby.

At a mediocre FIFA Ranking of 75 in November 2015, the national team has a great deal of room to grow and improve ahead of the 2017 AFCON and the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which they are aiming to qualify for.

Here are 15 things you didn’t know about South Africa’s national football team, Bafana Bafana.

Sources: “The Ball is Round: A Global History of Football” (Goldblatt), IOL.co.za, Spoor.com, IOL.co.za, EWN.co.za, SAHistory.org.za, News24.com, SouthAfrica.infoSport24BDlive.

This is an updated version of a slideshow that was originally published Oct. 28, 2014. Peter Pedroncelli contributed to this report.