Soccer body to partner with RAF in bid to curb player deaths on roads
THE SOUTH African Football Players Union (Safpu) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Road Accident Fund in an effort to reduce the number of soccer players dying on our roads.
On Sunday, Maritzburg United suffered a blow when one of their young promising players, Mlondi Dlamini, lost his life in a car accident.
He is not the first footballer to lose his life in a similar fashion, as South Africa has lost talented players like Lesley “Slow Poison” Manyathela, Gift “Vum Vum” Leremi, Cecil Lolo and Richard Henyekane in a similar way.
Tebogo Monyai, the vice-president at Safpu, confirmed that they were taking this matter very seriously and trying to find solutions.
“This is very shocking. It is not nice to lose players in a similar way. We have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Road Accident Fund. We want to create campaigns and awareness about how to avoid accidents.
“We want to give players tips on other avenues they can utilise if they want to go out at night. There’s Uber nowadays as an option. This can help to avoid accidents, because this doesn’t happen in cricket and rugby. We are intending to use players who have been involved in car accidents as our ambassadors,” Monyai explained.
Safpu donated R5 000 to the family of Dlamini, who will be laid to rest tomorrow at Mpophomeni in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal.
“Our research has shown that most of these players lose their lives in car accidents because they drive long hours. Let me make an example: you will find that a football player plays for a team that is in Durban but his home is in Gauteng. If he gets a break, he will drive all the way to Gauteng. When he gets there, he will visit his friends and family, and on Sunday, he has to drive back to Durban,” Monyai lamented.
“This person has not had enough rest, and as the result is tired. These are some of the things our players need to avoid.”