Thursday, July 3, 2014

3 July 1992 - Welcome Bafana Bafana!

On 3 July 1992, FIFA welcomed South Africa back into the international football fold after a ban of almost 31 years.

The Football Association of South Africa was founded in 1892, but was limited to whites only, due to the country's policy of racial segregation known as apartheid. In 1957, South Africa was invited to join the Confederation of African Football, along with Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan, but was expelled in 1958 over the other countries' objections to apartheid. 

Also in 1958, South Africa was admitted to FIFA, but was suspended on 26 September 1961, again due to apartheid. Shortly afterward, FIFA President Sir Stanley Rous argued for South Africa's readmission, claiming that the suspension would irrevocably harm the development of South African football and that FIFA had no business in political matters.

FIFA lifted the suspension in January 1963, but reimposed it in October 1964. They formally expelled South Africa in 1976 after the Soweto uprising, in which South African police killed 23 protesters.

In 1991, as racial barriers in South Africa began to fall, the FASA was replaced by the integrated South African Football Association. The new association was admitted to FIFA on 3 July 1992 and, on 7 July 1992, the unified South African national team, nicknamed the Bafana Bafana (Zulu for "the Boys"), played their first match, defeating Cameroon 1-0.

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