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26/06/2018 15:53 SAST | Updated 26/06/2018 15:56 SAST

Soccer Gogos Paint Russia Red

Merriam 'Katsanga' Mushwana (65) and Annah 'Tabi' Kgofelo (70) visited the World Cup host nation to take part in the veterans league and watch a couple of games.

Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images/Getty Images
South African grandmothers pose with footballs in the Nkowankowa township on November 24 2009, in Tzaneen.

Two of South Africa's "soccer gogos" had the opportunity to paint Russia red this past week. Limpopo grannies Merriam 'Katsanga' Mushwana (65) and Annah 'Tabi' Kgofelo (70) visited the World Cup host nation to take part in a veterans league match, and watch a couple of games in the world championship tournament.

They also had the opportunity to meet Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane today in Moscow, and visit the South African embassy in the Russian capital.

The soccer gogos shot to fame in 2016, after various reports about their soccer team Vakhegula Vakhegula prompted a documentary, "Alive And Kicking", about the women.

The women have had to deal with many challenges, including abuse, poverty and neglect, and soccer has been a great escape for them.

Limpopo social worker Rebecca Ntsanwisi started the movement of the soccer grannies in 2003, and it has spread all over the country.

Forty informal teams have been established, and now women from neighbouring countries such as Mozambique and Zimbabwe also want in.