Tim Spirit: What happened to our patriotism?

2013-09-30 10:00

Sport, by its very nature, is a unifying exercise unlike any other. It unites communities, towns, provinces and nations.

In a country, people support their preferred clubs in different codes but then unite as one when the national team plays – forgetting their club allegiances.

While Orlando Pirates’ impressive run in the CAF Champions League thus far is for the team’s glory, there is a need for all South Africans to rally behind them.

At the level of this competition, it is not about which team any South African supports in domestic football but more about the country’s hopes that rest on the Bucs’ shoulders.

It is simple, if the Bucs do well – as they enter the semifinal stages of the competition – South Africa also wins.

Considering that participation by both Bafana Bafana and our clubs in CAF tournaments have in the past two decades or so heeded as few successes as the goals netted by a Premiership top scorer in a season, Pirates’ good run should be embraced by all in Mzansi.

While Pirates have received support from most quarters across the country, a worrying trend has emerged among some rival club supporters whose affiliations cloud their judgment.

This is not about a Soweto team, but South African team that will be doing battle in the African jungle.

In the recent game Pirates played against Egyptian giants Al Ahly, we saw some Kaizer Chiefs supporters going as far as calling themselves #friendsofalahly on social media.

It was also so disappointing to witness, on national TV, a man wearing a Chiefs jersey jumping for joy in the midst of a band of Zamalek supporters when the Egyptian club equalised in a match that Pirates ultimately won 4-1 at Orlando Stadium last month.

This kind of behaviour is quite embarrassing.

What has happened to patriotism?

Given the fact that they have their choice of teams, the point is that this is not about Pirates but the country against other African countries.

The Bucs are the country’s ambassadors and deserve to get the support from all and sundry.

But some supporters have brazenly taken their hatred too far, to an extent of rallying behind visiting teams.

The same attitude played itself out during the recent tours of English Premiership clubs when South Africans rooted for their visiting idols.

In this continental battle that Pirates are currently engaged in, the crowd element is a crucial factor in swaying the outcome of the match.

But in South Africa, it seems that even while a club is singing the national anthem and saying “united we shall stand”, the fan base is divided along club affiliation lines.

Granted, there are those hard core supporters who would never relent, no matter what, but that does not mean blind loyalty is the only way to go.

Are other clubs’ supporters so jealous that they don’t want to see Pirates earning their second star as African champions?

It would mean so much for South Africa if Pirates were to win the CAF Champions League as it would go a long way in regaining the respect we have lost in football.

Pirates need everyone’s support.

So let’s rally behind the Sea Robbers on Saturday when they take on Tunisian giants Espérance de Tunis at Orlando Stadium.

Even if you’re not a Pirates fan, at least show that you’re part of the rainbow nation. I know I’ll be there.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.