SOUTH AFRICA NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM
FIFA RANKING: 71
South African Football Association (SAFA)
Soccer City – The Calabash, Johannesburg
Atteridgeville Super Stadium, Pretoria
Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg
Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban
MOST CAPPED PLAYER:-
Aaron Mokoena (107 caps)
Benni McCarthy (31 goals)
Itumeleng Khune, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Dean Furman, Andile Jali
Best Result: Group stage (1998, 2002, 2010)
AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS (AFCON):-
Best Result: Champions (1996)
Best Result: 4th (2009)
The South Africa national football team represents the country in international football. It is governed by the South African Football Association (SAFA).
SAFA is in charge of operating football in South Africa and was established in 1991. The team got FIFA and CAF affiliation soon after in 1992.
South Africa is a part of the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) and was 1 of the 10 founding members of the association in 1997.
The Proteas became the first African nation to host the FIFA World Cup in 2010 but unfortunately, also the first host nation to bow out of the competition in the group stage.
Bafana Bafana has qualified for the World Cup on 2 other occasions but has never managed to make it past the group stages. They have done a decent job in the AFCON, however. They won the cup in their first-ever AFCON appearance in 1996!
In 10 AFCON appearances, South Africa has 1 title, 1 runner-up and 1 third-place finish. They have also made the quarterfinals on 3 occasions including the 2019 AFCON where they ended up in 7th position.
South Africa sends its 2nd team to play at the African Nations Championship and the COSAFA Cup to try and bolster the development of the sport at the grassroots level.
The team has been impressive in recent times and South African fans will be hoping to see their team qualify for the FIFA World Cup once again and this time, go beyond the group stage for the first time in the nation’s history.
FOOTBALL IN SOUTH AFRICA
Football is the most popular sport in South Africa followed by rugby and cricket.
The nation has experienced lots of success in rugby and was a powerhouse in cricket till recently as they go through a rebuilding phase, however, football has been one sport where they have not been able to live up to the aspirations.
The SAFA is doing a lot to try and change this and things are starting to look up. There are almost 1.5 million registered football players in South Africa! SAFA is in charge of the major football league system in the country.
South Africa’s football governing body has set up a comprehensive tiered system to help the development of football at the grassroots itself. There are 5 tiers of football set up.
The nation’s top league is the South African Premier Division and this is the highest division of football in the country. It features the 16 top South African clubs including the world-renowned Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United.
The top 2 teams qualify for the CAF Champions League, while the 3rd placed team and the domestic cup winners advance to the CAF Confederation Cup. The team that finishes the season in last is relegated to the 2nd division and the team that finishes 15th has to go through a play-off with the teams that finished 2nd and 3rd in the National First Division (2nd division) to determine who takes the final available spot in the 1st division.
The National First Division is the 2nd tier of South African football. Just like the first division, this league consists of 16 teams. The bottom two clubs are relegated to the 3rd division of football in the country.
The SAFA Second Division is the 3rd division of football in South Africa. The league is split into provinces and mainly features semi-professional sides. Teams are divided into 9 groups having 16 teams each. At the end of the season, the 9 league winners face-off in a playoff system to earn two promotional spots into the National First Division. The bottom two teams in each league, however, are relegated to the 4th tier.
At the 4th division of South Africa’s football system is the SAB Regional League. The league is divided into 52 leagues with each league being associated with 1 of the 9 provincial leagues in the SAFA Second Division. These teams are mostly amateur clubs and slug it out for 2 available promotion spots.
SAFA controls the top 4 divisions of football in its country. The leagues below, however, are controlled by the body’s Local Football Associations.
The 5th division is where all the LFA Football Leagues are. This is the starting point to potentially move up to the big leagues in South African football.
BETTING IN SOUTH AFRICA
IS ONLINE GAMBLING LEGAL IN SOUTH AFRICA?
Yes, online sports betting is legal in South Africa and regulated by the National Gaming Board. Gambling in South Africa is regulated by the National Gambling Act of 2004.
IS IT SAFE TO BET ONLINE IN SOUTH AFRICA?
Yes, just make sure you use a trusted website. There are over 40 licenses that have been issued in South Africa for sports betting operations. The West Cape Gambling and Racing Board is the primary authority for sports betting licenses in the country.
HOW DO DEPOSITS AND WITHDRAWALS WORK IN SOUTH AFRICA FOR ONLINE BETTING?
There are several options for deposits and withdrawals for sports betting in South Africa. Common modes are OZOW iPay, Kazang, 1Voucher and OTTVoucher.
IS MOBILE BETTING AVAILABLE IN SOUTH AFRICA?
Absolutely! Mobile betting has gained significant popularity in recent years. South Africa has good internet connectivity and the latest technologies so it has become very easy to bet online using mobile devices.
WHICH ARE THE POPULAR SPORTS FOR BETTING IN SOUTH AFRICA?
Football is the most popular sport followed by rugby and cricket. Golf and cycling are unconventional but have a huge fan following amongst punters in the country.
ARE WINNINGS FROM BETTING TAXABLE?
No, all winnings are tax-free for South African bettors.
IS THE SPORTS BETTING MARKET FAIRLY REGULATED IN SOUTH AFRICA?
South Africa has strict rules and regulations in place for betting in the country. It does everything to protect its citizens from fake betting platforms and promotes betting in a fair way by giving licenses to renowned international bookmakers for fair operations. There is no need to worry about online sports betting in South Africa. Just make sure you choose a legitimate bookmaker.