The Question Everyone Is Asking: Can Football Really Stop Xenophobia?


In the face of all the violence going on, South Africa’s national team Bafana Bafana is set to play two international friendly matches against neighboring countries in a bid to sensitize the public on the evils of xenophobia.

Seeing as Xenophobic attacks by South Africans against foreigners, particularly those of African descent has badly dented the image of the country in recent days, the South African Football Association (SAFA) wants to reach out to other African countries in the friendly match, to show that they don’t harbor any ill will against other Africans. SAFA CEO Dennis Mumble.:

“We want to use the two high-profile international friendly matches as an instrument to unite this continent. What has been happening in the past few days have really left most people in a shock and dismayed,’’ said

He went on to say “Nelson Mandela spoke of the power of sport in uniting people from different walks of life and we want to use the power of football to unite this continent and kick out this scourge within certain malcontents in our society’.”

“We are one continent, one Africa, we are all Africans and we say no to xenophobia,’’ Mumble added.

But with the increase in violence and the recent refugee situation, many people are left to wonder how much a friendly football match can do to quell the blood lust that seems to have gripped the locals to tight that even with so many dead and others displaced, they have still remained adamant about talking peace.

But even more importantly, what country will accept a friendly match when its citizens in South Africa are forced to live in tents and beg food from charity to survive. In reactions to the announcement of the friendly match, comments have been pouring in from all over Africa, including South Africa.

Read Some of the Reactions Below:

– They should start by sensitizing their government on the need to take action against this great inhumanity.

honest one
– Football??? Football??? People’s loved ones are being brutally killed and you’re talking about football. SAFA should STFU……. people are being killed while you stand there and watch. Africa will not forget. I just pray everyone is safely evacuated

-Really friendly match? I s that the best you guys can do?

– When people are dying by the minutes..this is not the type of intervention we need. We need prompt and abrupt action by the SA authorities!

Tony Salom
– No African team will play with them

Themba Phewa
– How will the matches stop xenophobia?? Government must look at the real problems

Inda Dark
-Hope the games are played outside SA. Otherwise how do we ensure the safety of the foreign players and spectators. Has mumble really thought this through

Tokkolossie Tokoloshe
– Very bad idea. Sort out the real problem here and take your football heroes into the places where these autrocities are committed to form a human shield against the attackers. That will be meaningfull not a stupid game in a country where we as SouthAfricans are now hated