Three reasons why you should watch the South African League

Andile Jali of Pirates and Luka Modric of Tottenham compete during the 2011 Vodacom Challenge final match between Orlando Pirates and Tottenham Hotspur at Coca Cola Stadium on July 23, 2011 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  (July 22, 2011 - Source: Gallo Images/Getty Images Europe)

Andile Jali of Pirates and Luka Modric of Tottenham compete during the 2011 Vodacom Challenge final match between Orlando Pirates and Tottenham Hotspur at Coca Cola Stadium on July 23, 2011 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

(July 22, 2011 - Source: Gallo Images/Getty Images Europe)

Many times we soccer enthusiasts particularly rate European leagues highly because of the exciting and competitive nature of the game in those leagues. These include the English Premier League which is the most watched football league in the world, followed by the Spanish La Liga. But, what about the leagues in Africa? Is there really not something to look forward to in African Soccer Leagues? Certainly not. In this article we take a closer look at the South African Premier League, commonly known as the Absa Premiership and we provide some insights as to why you should highly consider taking some time and watch South African football.

1. It is the home of the famous “Vuvuzela”

African football is mostly known for the strong passion from football supporters who sing their favourite songs about their teams while also chanting songs about their favourite players. In South Africa, the fans do the most. They go above and beyond just singing songs but they add some flavour by blowing their vuvuzelas which most believe helps cheer the players on the pitch. The vuvuzela took centre stage during the memorable FIFA world cup which was held in South Africa back in 2010. The world was introduced to the vuvuzela and most liked the sound it makes when blown. That said, the ABSA premier league provides an endless opportunity for fans wishing to experience and witness how the vuvuzela is blown.

the Absa premiership has become popular for the showboating exploits demonstrated by some of the players. The famous shibobos and crazy dribbling all add up to the things that make this league appreciated and exciting to watch.
— Siphosethu Thwala, FirstTouch Africa

2. It is one of the most valuable and richest leagues in Africa

Yep it is. With a prize money of 10 million rands (USD 672 000), coupled with cup competitions (MTN 8, Nedbank Cup and Telkom Knockout) that make up a total prize money of close to 20 million rands up for grabs. This league certainly warrants the attention of true football lovers. Because of its value, the Absa Premier League has caught and attracted the attention of some famous footballers and in turn improved the quality of the league over time. Such players include Zimbabwe’s Benjani Mwaruwari who used to play for Jomo Cosmos before moving to the EPL in Portsmouth colors and eventually Manchester City not forgetting Knowledge Musona widely known as the “Smiling Assassin” who used to play for Kaizer Chiefs and now plies his trade in the Belgian First Division A for the most successful club in that league, Anderlecht.The legendary Roger Feutmba who used to don the jersey of Bafana Ba Style in Mamelodi Sundowns and scoring goals as a hobby. In present times, the league has produced quality players such as the South African internationals Itumeleng Khune, Sibusiso Vilakazi and Brighton and Hove Albion’s Percy Tau, just to name a few, all who have become household names.

3. It is home to one of the biggest derbies in the world

Pirates fans celebrate during the Absa Premiership Final match between Orlando Pirates and the Golden Arrows at Orlando Stadium on May 21, 2011 in Soweto, South Africa.  (May 20, 2011 - Source: Gallo Images/Getty Images Europe)

Pirates fans celebrate during the Absa Premiership Final match between Orlando Pirates and the Golden Arrows at Orlando Stadium on May 21, 2011 in Soweto, South Africa.

(May 20, 2011 - Source: Gallo Images/Getty Images Europe)

Lest we forget, the Absa premiership also hosts two of the best teams in South Africa which happen to be arch rivals, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. These two emanate from the same famous South African township, Soweto in Johannesburg. As such, twice a season, both Chiefs and Pirates lock horns in the infamous “Soweto derby” which is watched by more than 90 000 fans at the biggest stadium in South Africa, FNB Stadium. Moreover, the Soweto derby is watched by millions of other football lovers and usually the country comes to a standstill when it is derby time because of the rich and intense rivalry between both sets of the teams’ fans. Personally I have experienced watching the derby countless times and trust me it becomes more than just a game, the passion is real!

Apart from the above reasons, the Absa premiership has become popular for the showboating exploits demonstrated by some of the players. The famous shibobos and crazy dribbling all add up to the things that make this league appreciated and exciting to watch for fans that follow it. With all said and said, don’t you think it's time to widen your viewing appetite and watch the ABSA premier league? I certainly think so.