Siwelele urges all fans to sing for their soccer

2011-03-12 19:59

If only the supporters of the other 15 PSL teams would follow Celtic’s example, football matches would no longer be the boring affairs they have become through the years.

Before the game against Orlando Pirates last weekend, the road leading to Seisa Ramabodu Stadium in Mangaung, Bloemfontein, was a sea of green and white as young and old supporters flocked to the cauldron to rally behind their favourite side.­

This is rarely seen at other matches, unless they are games involving bigger teams, and ­Siwelele is the only crowd that outnumbers Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs in their own backyards.

Before, during and after the game they sang non-stop – and even when Celtic were trailing Pirates, they did not stop.

These are familiar scenes at Celtic matches, and now they want to spread the practice to other teams. Popular Celtic supporter ­Langa Msila, famous for wearing a shower cap at matches, has a burning desire to see South Africans of all colours support the game.

“Botha”, as he is popularly known, has embarked on a one-man crusade to inspire supporters to rally behind their teams and not to choose ­matches.

He says their motto at Celtic is simple: “Comply now and ­complain later.”

“Our job is to rally behind the team because players need us and we need the three points from them,” says Msila.

The unemployed father of an 11-year-old boy says that by attending as many matches as he can, he sends the message that it is possible to go to games “even when one is unemployed”.

“Football is my life and I am very passionate about it; hence I can watch so many games. If I can do it when I am not working, so can many other people, and the sooner people realise the importance of supporting their clubs, the bigger our football will become.”

Msila has also been seen at rugby and cricket matches.

He said he was a happy man during the World Cup, as all South Africans embraced the event – but his smile has been wiped off by the non-attendance evident ever since Spain left these shores with the trophy.

“We need to revive that World Cup spirit and someone has to take the initiative. But I am confident that what I am doing will not go unnoticed and people will start attending games. Are we saying our value has dropped so much that we cannot attend games?”

Although Msila admitted that travelling was sometimes difficult, he said nothing would stop him from achieving his goal of seeing more people at the ­various stadiums.

“Sometimes my family suffers when I take the last money for my trips.

“The other day my son wanted soccer boots, but I took the money to go and watch the game and there was a problem when I came back.

“Even my girlfriend cannot ­afford manicures, pedicures and a hair-do because I use all the money,” Msila said with a laugh.

He said that he used to drive a maxi taxi which was ­referred to as “4+1”, but he had to give it up because he was ­always in trouble with the authorities as the vehicle was unroadworthy.

The 36-year-old also disclosed the reason he wears a shower cap, saying that it helps to reduce sweating. It was raining the first time he wore it, he said, but he has since found better use for it.

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