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Soccer in a rugby town: restructuring football in Stellenbosch

Abstract : Stellenbosch is a South African town long perceived as a stronghold of Afrikaner culture and rugby; however, soccer is also played there. This essay examines the difficulties met by the Stellenbosch Local Football Association (SLFA) in its attempt to unify the different local soccer leagues inherited from the apartheid period. The recent effort by the South African Football Association (SAFA) to restructure the country’s soccer leagues ahead of the 2010 World Cup could not be implemented in Stellenbosch without upsetting entrenched habits. An ethnographic survey of the allocation of sport fields in Stellenbosch exemplifies these difficulties. All the fields are managed by local Sports Boards and they do not always answer the SLFA’s requests to allocate the necessary pitches, especially to outside soccer teams. In spite of the tangible progress achieved since the end of apartheid, the SAFA faces problems in implementing its unification policy in a context still influenced by parochialism and tensions from the past.
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Submitted on : Monday, November 23, 2015 - 1:49:27 PM
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Sylvain Cubizolles. Soccer in a rugby town: restructuring football in Stellenbosch. Soccer and Society, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2010, 11 (1-2), pp.105--117. ⟨10.1080/14660970903331417⟩. ⟨hal-01232347⟩



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