Soc­cer body to part­ner with RAF in bid to curb player deaths on roads

The Star Late Edition - - NEWS - MINENHLE MKHIZE

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 R5000 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.”

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