Post-Invictus: South Africa’s Greatest Soccer Moment

“In early 1996, as the above quote emphasizes, it was South Africa’s Bafana Bafana soccer team—not its rugby ‘Springboks’—that captured South Africa’s imagination. Yet, in the run-up to the 2010 World Cup, the American media has constructed a history implying that the most important sports moment in South African history was their victory in the 1995 Rugby World Cup. This construction is thanks largely to Clint Eastwood’s rendition of those events in Invictus (which was released in DVD last week, ensuring further pre-World Cup attention), though ESPN has also chimed in with a documentary entitled The 16th Man. I prefer the ESPN documentary because it includes some genuine South African voices, but I also find it fascinating that in the hype around that Rugby World Cup the media seems to be missing a somewhat analogous soccer moment that came about seven months ‘post-Invictus:’ South Africa’s victory in the 1996 African Cup of Nations.” (Pitch Invasion)


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