10 April 2017 Read: 210
Few things are regarded as truly South African as soccer. More specifically street soccer, or “Raga Bolo” as it is named in the townships. As T20 is to cricket, so too is Raga Bolo to soccer. It is a five-a-side, high-paced soccer game played on a much smaller playing field, with the road and streetlamps as your stadium.
Each game consists of two, ten-minute halves with a two minute resting period in-between. Each team has a goalkeeper and four field players. In 2011 a national tournament was launched which saw taverns and liquor outlets in townships and rural areas across the country enter their own five-man squads into an official championship tournament.
Communities nationwide followed the action with games being played in neighbourhoods everywhere. At the start of 2016, Smirnoff relaunched the popular tournament which saw two of the Northern regional teams (one from Polokwane and one from Nelspruit) make it through to the finals played in Johannesburg at Wanderers. This year the tournament is back, and as the official kick-off games were played in Matsulu (just outside Nelspruit) last weekend, it is sure to provide bountiful excitement to soccer-lovers across the province.
The games will culminate in the finals in June this year. The teams compete on a log system with points awarded for wins, draws and losses. A total of 136 teams have qualified and entered this year’s tournament, so be sure to watch the press for game dates and venues and treat yourself and your family to a weekend of exciting sporting action. The teams are competing for a grand prize of R150 000.