Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Symbolic moment as rugby comes to black township of Soweto

SOCCER-FRIENDLY/South Africa’s long standing racist past means it still a country of great contrasts but with the change in power and social dynamics come great ironies too.

The latest will be played out on Saturday when the citadel of black South African football, the Orlando Stadium in Soweto, plays host to a Super 14 rugby match involving the Blue Bulls, the team so beloved by the white Afrikaners.

Although it is almost two decades since South Africa’s political changes began, it is the first time a match of this nature is hosted in a black township and represents the potential of dramatic images as thousands of white fans from the country’s most conservative areas head into the biggest black township to watch their team in the semifinals of the Super 14.

For most of the whites it will be their first trip anywhere near Soweto, scene of much of the internal unrest against apartheid in the 1970s and 80s and today rife with crime.