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Feb, 6, 2011

Bafana Bafana set for name change

The South African Football Association (SAFA) is committed to changing the nickname of the South African national football team from Bafana Bafana.

• Moonda: What's in a name?

SAFA said that the nickname - currently the Zulu word for 'boys' - should 'belong to the association' and that it would be exploring different alternatives with former World Cup boss Danny Jordaan heading a three-man team that also includes the body's president, Kirsten Nematandani, and the chairman of the referees' committee.

"We have been through the various legal routes to determine what the best way forward," Nematandani told media. "We have come to a decision that the name we have for our national team should belong to the association and the risks of changing the name will be investigated."

The issue has been around for some time as SAFA has been involved in various legal battles after the name 'Bafana Bafana' was patented by a local businessman in 1994. In 2002, South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that SAFA had no legal right to the name and could drop it.

In 2007, then-South African President Thabo Mbeki suggested a name change, but more due to the name itself than any legal battle.

"What kind of a name (Bafana Bafana) is it? I don't think it is fit for a senior national team or for the hosts of the 2010 World Cup," Mbeki told Metro FM radio.

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