South Africa vice | Culture of drink infiltrates upper echelon

Johannesburg | The Sunday Times delves into the drinking culture surrounding clubs in the Premier Soccer League and the national team, Bafana Bafana. “For every emerging star,” writes Luke Alfred, “there is another has-been propping up a shebeen counter in Mamelodi.”

As a cautionary tale, Alfred focuses on Mbulelo “Old John” Mabizela, among five players who missed a national-team briefing the morning after a friendly against Germany in September. “They had visited the town [Hamburg] after the match and didn’t wake up in time.” Says Golden Arrows coach Khabo Zondo,The players drown their sorrows when they lose—and drink heavily to celebrate winning.”

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