The South African Football Association (SAFA) would like to join the rest of South Africa in lauding the brave young men and women who marched to protest against the Bantu Education Act on this historic day in 1976.
"They fought against inequality and oppressive rules and today the rest of South Africa is enjoying the fruits of what they stood for," said SAFA President Kirsten Nematandani.
South Africa has played in three World Cup tournaments and has hosted what FIFA has ranked as the best World Cup event ever in 2010. The country has also hosted other successful sporting events, thanks to what the protesters stood for, added Nematandani.
"Since our re-admission to the FIFA family, this country has taken its rightful place on the global sporting universe and I, on behalf of SAFA, would like to laud the youths for literally putting their bodies on the line for the freedom of this country," he said.
The students were mainly protesting against the inferior Bantu Education because they wanted a better future for all.
"Therefore, the youths of today should appreciate what their predecessors fought for. Education is power, the youths of today must know that there is nothing that is more paramount than education. So even when you take sport as your preferred professional career, it is important to put education ahead of everything," said the SAFA President.
On 16 June 1976, Soweto youths took to the street to protest for better education and the police responded with teargas and live ammunition.
"We must cherish what these brave warriors fought for but also be mindful that what they stood for doesn't go to waste."