Former Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs star Siphiwe Tshabalala is of the view that South African footballers are judged harshly by the public on how they handle their finances.
In a Zoom press conference with the South African Football Journalists Association (Safja), ‘Shabba’ said that the upbringing and journey of many footballers from humble beginnings to the top play a huge role in the financial and life decisions they make.
“We only judge footballers when things are okay, or when they are successful, but we don’t focus more on their upbringing, on their journey as beginners,” said Tshabalala.
The veteran midfielder went on to say that once a footballer turns professional and competes in the GladAfrica Championship or the Absa Premiership they play the role of the saviour to their family.
“You want to improve your life as well which is normal but there are lots of temptations as well, some of us we had to start to take care of our families before we can even take care of ourselves.
“We had to work extra hard to take care of our families and by the time you start to take care of yourself and by the time you start to take care of yourself and the most important thing, it is too late,” added Tshabalala, who revealed that life in Turkey in the colours of Erzurumspor BB was difficult.
Maybe it's time to stop judging our footballers' money habits & look at our own. #COVID19SA has taught us that even multi-million Rand companies are just a few bad months away from retrenchments. How many of us can afford to retire? Should soccer players be different? pic.twitter.com/JDRxWkftvK
— Mosibodi Whitehead (@MosiWhitehead) June 9, 2020
“It was difficult that side. Sometimes you would go for three months without a salary,” he said after only spending a season in Turkey before returning to South Africa as a free agent back in July 2019.
“You can’t leave your own comfort, work in a foreign country and still don’t get paid and don’t get to play. It built me mentally and I learned from the situation and I just decided to terminate and that’s how I left,” concluded Tshabalala.
By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi