Cape Town - In the wake of the Rugby World Cup triumph and 57 million South Africans of all colours and creeds celebrating the event with appropriate pride and gusto, it is worth recalling that there was a time when South Africa's representatives in all sporting codes were also known internationally and respected worldwide as Springboks.

Apartheid, of course, had to be booted out post-haste in what was thankfully a bloodless revolution, but with politics rearing its often ugly head there was no logic to the fanatical-inspired dictum that only rugby retain the proud nickname and logo associated with the legendary Springbok, with a number of somewhat uninspiring, quaint and illogical replacements like Bafana Bafana and Proteas replacing the legendary, lithe and admired animal as the country's national sporting emblem in soccer and cricket and other sports.

Okay, it can be argued that it was nothing short of ugly and abhorrent that the callous South African regimes that once ruled the country had implemented into the laws of the land that only whites were eligible to represent the country on sporting fields.

Sportsmen and women widely welcomed the end of sports apartheid and the launch of a new era.

And, in any case, if the past indignities and memories associated with the Springbok were of such a nature as to be too difficult to bear, then the hapless and illustrious animal should have been banished entirely as representing South African sporting teams - and that includes rugby as well!

Fortunately, however, time has shown that there was nothing at all in justifying the Springbok as something sinister and evil.

On the contrary, little, if anything, has made succeeding South African Presidents Nelson Mandela (1995), Thabo Mbeki (2007) and now Cyril Ramaphosa glow more with pride and optimism than wearing the Springbok jersey in the wake of the glorious World Cup successes.

Would it not, by the same token, be a little more inspirational and internationally respected for the South African soccer team currently preparing for forthcoming African Nations Cup qualifiers against Ghana and Sudan to be known by the 57 million who are raising the roof over the rugby feats in Japan to be supporting a Springbok soccer team?

Sadly, what was once the property of all South African sporting entities is now the sole property of the rugby code - with time seemingly having run out to undo this particular misguided miscalculation of the past.