In South Africa, football is not merely a sport, but an institution.
The professional league is known as the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and is independently run. The season runs parallel to the major European leagues.
The senior national team is known as Bafana Bafana, which is Zulu for 'the boys'. South Africa has a tendency for nicknaming their national teams; the U-23 national football team is known as Amaglug-glug.
Football in South Africa is governed by the South African Football Association (SAFA). SAFA has recently become a member of the FIFA family. It was banned from FIFA in 1975 for its segregated sports practices, but was readmitted in 1992 with a standing ovation. In order for this to happen, four historically divided football associations, servicing different parts of the South African population had to amalgamate into a single unified association.
Football culture has also emerged from the passion South African fans have for the beautiful game. Makarapas and Vuvuzelas are standard accessories for the dedicated fan.
The 1990s was certainly a good decade for South African football. Highlights included:
- Bafana Bafana winning the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996.
- Qualifying for France 1998, South Africa's first-ever FIFA World Cup.
- Orlando Pirates winning the CAF African Champions Cup in 1995 and a year later, winning the CAF African Super Cup.
- The South African national team qualifying for the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan.