Where the hell did these Man United fans come from?

I am disappointed, riled to the core.

I am disappointed, riled to the core.

This thanks to those people who regard themselves as my compatriots while their hearts and loyalty are elsewhere. South Africa boasts many firsts, most of which have made us proud as a nation.

But, today, I doubt if we ever were a nation.

I ask: What happened to the magic of April 27 1994? I sadly conclude that it never really existed.

Maybe those who voted for the first time were genuinely casting their ballots for real change.

It is with a lump in my throat that I have to write about the South Africans who on July 19 donned the colours of Manchester United, sang God Save the Queen and cheered that club with great gusto.

Yet they say they are South Africans.

Where did they come from, anyway?

I admit that as one of the biggest clubs in the world, its support base is global. But at Newlands in Cape Town there were more Manchester United supporters than those who rooted for Kaizer Chiefs.

Now we all know that Chiefs are arguably the biggest team in Africa in terms of its huge following.

So I do not believe that a foreign team, regardless of stature, can beat Chiefs in numbers right in their back yard. Nyet! No!

The English love football and, obviously, the fans follow their teams to the ends of the earth, so to speak.

I insist that the bulk of the cheerers on the stands were as South African as naartjies.

They wore the red-and-white regalia. I saw them. Forget the notion that if you are not black you are white.

In this country we are still confined to racial compartments. Without sounding racist, is it not a fact that those who filled the United stands were white, Indian and coloured?

The majority of these groups are seldom, if at all, seen at our local, and even more pertinently, international games.

We struggle to fill stadiums even on major cup final days. Soccer bosses have begged, cajoled and gone on their knees.

Go to the stadiums, asseblief tog, please, hle.

We will give you brand new cars and cellphones, the football administrators have pleaded.

What? Nothing moved these people as they slid deeper inside their burrows. Then came Manchester United and suddenly, there they were. Even if the English team came with its own supporters I assure you their numbers would not overwhelm Chiefs' followers.

But they did. No wonder poor Amakhosi played to a one-all draw against United.

We are told that charity begins at home.

Lest I be seen as chastising people for exercising their freedom of choice, surely one would expect us to unite as patriots whether we play with or engage other countries at any level.

We are hosting the world in 2010.

I am afraid we will see not only English jerseys worn by South Africans instead of the green and gold of Bafana, but of other nations as well.

Well, what with a very famous local club that dresses like and calls itself the Brazilians?