Gone and almost forgotten the dynamcs of professional white football in SA 1959-1990

Venter, Gustav Barend (2016-03)

Thesis (DPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study has been positioned as a contribution to the emerging literature relating to issues of transformation in South African sport by exploring historical change in the demographics of professional football in South Africa at an institutional level. Through the use of archival documentation, contemporary media material and oral sources, it considers the political, economic and social factors that influenced white professional football during the period 1959–90, with a focus on the disappearance of the whites-only National Football League (NFL) and the subsequent struggles by its constituent clubs within integrated professional football prior to unity. The original contribution of this study to the scholarship pertaining to South African football spans multiple dimensions. In addition to arguing that new elements need to be considered in the debate regarding the NFL’s demise in the late 1970s, it also contains the first in-depth analysis of the relationship between the National Party’s multinational sports policy and South African football historically. Consequently it contributes to the broader literature exploring the nexus between sport, politics and race in South African sport generally. It further analyses the trajectory of former NFL clubs – and their disappearance over time – in the period subsequent to the white league’s disbandment. This constitutes a new axis of analysis within the historiography of South African football. By the time football unity arrived in 1991 only two former (white) NFL clubs remained within the top tier of South African professional football – this after the NFL had experienced notable popularity during the 1960s and early 1970s. The analysis of this drastic historical shift relating to institutional white football represents an important marker regarding the complex and multifaceted range of historical variables that impacted the game locally during the period 1959–90. As a result this study offers historical perspective to current debates on sporting transformation. It is argued that despite the fact that football itself has largely been positioned outside these debates, the study thereof still serves as a crucial lens through which to consider the demographic fluidity that has been present within South African sport historically.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek die veranderinge in die demografie van georganiseerde beroepsokker in Suid-Afrika binne historiese verband en is so geplaas om ‘n bydrae te lewer tot die bestaande literatuur met betrekking tot transformasie in Suid-Afrikaanse sport. Deur gebruik te maak van argiefdokumentasie, historiese media-materiaal en mondelingse bronne word die invloed van politieke, ekonomiese en sosiale faktore op wit beroepsokker gedurende die tydperk 1959–90 ondersoek. Die klem word geplaas op die verdwyning van die wit Nasionale Sokker Liga (“NFL”) en die gevolglike oorlewingsstryd van die klubs binne geïntegreerde beroepsokker voor eenwording. Die sonderlinge bydrae van hierdie studie tot die vakkundigheid met betrekking tot Suid-Afrikaanse sokker omvat verskeie vlakke. Aanvullend tot die argument dat nuwe elemente binne die debat rakende die verdwyning van “NFL” in die laat sewentigerjare in ag geneem behoort te word, bevat die studie ook die eerste diepgaande ontleding van die historiese verband tussen die multi-nasionale sport beleid van die Nasionale Party en Suid-Afrikaanse sokker. Gevolglik dra dit by tot die breër literatuur wat die skakel tusen sport, politiek en ras in Suid-Afrika oor die algemeen ondersoek. Verder word die verloop en uiteindelike verdwyning van voormalige “NFL” klubs in die tydperk wat gelvolg het na die ontbinding van wit-liga sokker ondersoek. In hierdie verband word ‘n nuwe benadering jeens die ontleding van Suid-Afrikaanse sokker binne die raamwerk van geskiedskrywing, toegepas. Met die totstandkoming van sokker-eenheid in 1991 het daar slegs twee voorheen wit “NFL” klubs binne die boonste vlak van Suid-Afrikaanse sokker oorgebly – na ‘n tydperk van merkbare gewildheid gedurende die sestiger en vroeë sewentigerjare. Die ontleding van hierdie ingrypende historiese verskuiwings binne georganiseerde wit sokker verteenwoordig ‘n bepaalde aanwyser met betrekking tot die ingewikkelde en multi-dimensionele reeks historiese veranderlikes wat die plaaslike spel gedurende die tydperk 1959–90 beïnvloed het. Gevolglik bied die studie ‘n geskiedkundige oorsig op teenswoordige debatvoering rakende transformasie in sport. Derhalwe word aangevoer dat, ongeag die feit dat sokker op sigself grootliks by genoemde debatvoering uitgesluit word, die navorsing daaroor steeds belangrik is met betrekking tot die demografiese veranderinge wat histories in Suid-Afrikaanse sport aanwesig was.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98366
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