What Soccer Means to South Africa

What Soccer Means to South Africa
Dominic Nahr / Reportage by Getty Images for TIME

Soccer Fever
Soccer is immensely popular in all of Africa, but it holds a special place in nations like South Africa, where it assumed political resonance in the era of apartheid. The sport was embraced by the colonies in large part because it was the game introduced by the conquerors. To beat the English (or the French or the Italians) at their own game held particular importance for African players and their fans. In this photo, South Africans pack the Soccer City Stadium in Soweto, where the opening and final games of the 2010 FIFA World Cup will be played.

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