Film examines untested legends

THE story of South African footballers who were denied an opportunity to showcase their skills to the world has been captured on camera and will now be shown to the public.

THE story of South African footballers who were denied an opportunity to showcase their skills to the world has been captured on camera and will now be shown to the public.

For years former football greats have spoken about how sports sanctions robbed them of a chance to display their skills against the world's best and have even said that with their talent, they could have done very well in the previous Fifa World Cup finals and maybe even won it.

Now, with only 50 days to go before the tournament kicks off, Australian moviemaker Francis Green has made a documentary called The Team That Never Played.

Its focus is on former players from different racial backgrounds who had to endure the frustration of not playing each other because of their skin colour. Green said she was happy that the product was finally over.

"We started this project three years ago. We wanted to approach South African football differently and see if the players who played in the 1970s and 80s were good enough to do well in the previous World Cup finals had it not been for sporting sanctions. We have involved three former players: a black player, Vusi Lamola; a coloured player, Smiley Moosa; and a white player, Keith Broad," Green said.

She also said the documentary does not only focus on football, but the situation in the country at the time.

Former Pretoria Callies and Benoni United player Moosa said it was about time the story of South African football was told.

"I am happy that people will see how apartheid robbed us of an opportunity to play in international events. Although I was classified as a non-white, I still could not play against black players, which was a major blow to us.

"There were fantastic players like Kaizer Motaung, Percy "Chippa" Moloi and Lucas "Masterpieces" Moripe and we would have loved to have played against them, but unfortunately it didn't happen," Moosa told Sowetan yesterday.

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