The Natal inter-race tournament of the 1950s : reinforcing or undermining race identities?
Ngidi, Mphumeleli Aubrey.
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This dissertation focuses on the inter-race soccer tournament which was held in Natal between 1946 and 1960 under the auspices of the Natal-Inter-Race Soccer Board. The tournament was played between Coloured, Indian and African teams chosen from players across Natal. The tournament was played at an important time in African-Indian relations in the province. This was a time of growing tension on the ground between ordinary Indians and Africans as well as political co-operation across racial lines. This thesis provides a narrative history of the tournament and, as such, makes an important contribution to the historiography of soccer in South Africa. None of the major works on South African history focus on this tournament and, in fact, get some of the details wrong. This thesis provides the results, some outstanding players and administrators, playing styles, as well as the importance of sport as a source of power and patronage for Black sports administrators, which explains the reluctance of some to embrace non-racialism. The story of the Natal-Inter-Race Soccer Board and its tournament makes a valuable contribution to the growing field of the historiography of South Africa soccer.