A study has revealed that the majority of South Africans still love Bafana Bafana, and have thrown their weight behind the national team ahead of this year's 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The study, which was released by BMI Sport Info ? a leading independent sport and sponsorship Research Company ? also found massive support for five-time World Cup winners Brazil ? twice as much as their closest rival England.
The survey was conducted in February/March, with methodology based on consumer research among a total sample of 2400 adults of 18 years and older. The one-on-one interviews took place nationally, in Metropolitan and major urban areas covering individuals from South Africa's diverse background.
"Bafana Bafana definitely has the support of the nation," BMI?s Johan Grobler told SuperSport.com.
He added: "The South Africans received more than 70 percent of the popular support ? showing South Africans are right behind their national heroes in patriotic fashion ahead of this year?s tournament.
"What was also interesting was the way South Africans have fallen for the Brazilian Samba soccer style that has captivated fans at World Cups across the world. English football traditionally has a strong support base in this country, but the Brazilian support was much stronger than that of England."
Brazil was the first choice of 11 percent of South Africans, but rose significantly to 26 percent as a second team choice. England was the first choice for three percent of respondents, while 11 percent said they would support the English as their second team.
Interestingly, total support for Brazil was much higher among young adults under 35 years of age at 42 percent, versus the 37 percent support overall.
Other teams to receive support were Spain, Italy and Argentina, while African side Ghana, who received zero support as a first choice team, found themselves with six percent when given as a second option.
The survey also split the responses in terms of population groups, with support for Bafana Bafana differing significantly between white and black fans. Whereas 81 percent of black South Africans selected Bafana Bafana as their top choice, less than 50 percent of whites did the same.
There will be concern about one aspect as well, as support for Bafana Bafana drops by five points among young whites under the age of 35 years old.
However, BMI's Dave Sidenberg cautioned that one should be careful not to take these results out of context.
"If you consider that less than 10 percent of White South African adults support local soccer, the fact that now almost 50 percent of them will support Bafana Bafana in the upcoming World Cup must be seen as a positive trend, and positive for nation building," commented Sidenberg.