Plans reportedly come about possible ban on flag, national anthem


The government will soon reveal its plans to prevent South African teams from losing the right to wave the national flag and sing the national anthem at international sporting events.

Meanwhile, the South African Rugby Union (Saru) is angry about the possibility that the Springboks may not be able to compete under the South African flag against France in the World Cup on Sunday.

All indications are that South Africa will miss the deadline on Friday to amend its legislation against the use of prohibited substances in sport so that it meets the latest requirements of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Lawmakers are still debating the amendments made by Wada, despite the fact that these amendments already came into force in 2021.

An official attached to the department of sport, art and culture told AFP on condition of anonymity that “there will be an announcement about our plans early this week”.

“Among the possibilities being considered is to appeal in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) in Switzerland,” the official said.

Another official attached to the department said earlier that the government is working with Wada to make the amendments.

“There is no way that we will be in a situation where our teams will not play under the South African flag.”

However, if the government does not act this week, the Springboks may be banned from wearing the national flag on their jerseys this weekend.

This possibility made Mark Alexander, president of the South African Rugby Union (Saru), see red.

“We have this problem because our government has failed to get new legislation promulgated,” he said.

“It is a shame. This is an embarrassment for our country. They were warned in advance.

“Heads must roll,” added Alexander.

However, according to Springbok assistant coach Daan Human, the controversy on home soil does not affect the Springboks’ preparation for the weekend.

“The players are 100% focused on the work ahead, on what needs to be done this week,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter what color jersey (they run out in), or (in) a jersey without a flag on it, or even without a national anthem. The players, the coaches and all the other staff are here to represent South Africa. They represent 60 million people at home and they are prepared to fight for them.”

Should the Wada ban be enforced, it could also affect the Proteas who are participating in the World Cup cricket tournament in India.