The tall defender Matthew Booth is the only white player in South Africa’s national side. The crowds at South Africa’s matches are overwhelmingly black. Booth, who plays for local club Mamelodi Sundowns, is back in the national team after a long absence. When Booth touches the ball, you can hear sounds of “Boooooootttt.” Booth, who plays for local club Mamelodi Sundowns, is back in the national team after a long absence.
But as Mark Gleeson (probably the most knowledgeable reporter on African football) writes on the Reuters Soccer Blog, some foreign reporters (and visitors) think the crowds are booing Booth:
South African defender Matthew Booth decided to film his teammates during the recent Confederations Cup competition. (Remember him? He’s the only white guy in the team who fans greet with a loud “Boooottthhh” whenever he touches the ball and who Spanish reporters, looking for black racism decided was booed by the fans.) Booth, who maintains quite an active Youtube channel, regularly films his teammates, and in the video, above, captured them (and their Brazilian coach Joel Santana) singing on camera in the dressing room before their game against Spain in the first round. Check it out. (Here‘s another example.) It also made me wonder again why South African fans don’t leave the vuvuzelas outside the stadium and do some actual singing? That would not sound only better, but would present an actual, not corporate-induced part of football culture in that country, to visiting fans.