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OPINION:Relentless, remorseless, ruthless.
Yes, South Africa’s World Cup victory was all of those powerfully physical things, but it was also far more than that. This triumph was spiritual. It came from deep within. It would be naive to think that winning a game of sport can change a country overnight, but it can give hope. And hope is a mighty friend to have at your side.
So rejoice in hope, South Africans. At almost every wedding we hear the line from Corinthians faithfully, and often faithlessly, recited: “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” But when you are down in the darkest pit, as South Africa’s captain Siya Kolisi was at times of his impoverished childhood, then faith and hope can be just as powerful as love.
Kolisi said after the match, “It was more than just a final for us. When I was a kid all I was thinking about was getting my next meal. All I was looking for was an opportunity. I hope we have given you people a little bit of hope to work together and make our country better.”
South Africa echoed their captain’s words. Coach Rassie Erasmus spoke of how it was now his “mission” to use this victory in a positive way and not let it be squandered by those with personal agendas. He will need the support of president Cyril Ramaphosa, who wore the famous number 6 shirt when talking to the team beforehand, but has yet to fulfil the promises he made to his nation.
Schalk Brits, who at the age of 38 captained his country against Namibia at this World Cup, said, “Hopefully this is a turning point for our country. You always want to say it’s a game, but this game means so much more to South Africans. We can change through sport. This can unify a country.”
Handre Pollard said, “Only South Africans will really understand what this means going forward. We’ve got five languages in our side. We have a vision and this is what you can do if you all work together and stay together. Hopefully we can take this message home where things are not always going great and give
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