As South Africa celebrates today's Freedom Day, commemorating the country's first non-racial democratic elections in 1994, the soccer industry should look back with pride at the
sport's positive influence over the last 15 years.
Contributing significantly to black empowerment, soccer has helped previously disadvantaged groups achieve status, riches and
voice unimagined during the apartheid era. Today, Absa Premiership clubs have million-rand sponsorships and are on the verge of inheriting some of the world's top sadiums (built for the 2010
World Cup). And many players earn more than 100,000 rand ($11,300) per month.
The nation's soccer industry, however, still struggles for more democracy and grassroots growth.
While elite Premiership clubs earn monthly grants of around one million rand, too many South African youngsters can't afford boots.
Read the whole story at Independent Online (Cape Town) »