The South African Football Association (SAFA) have confirmed that a young footballer in the Mtubatuba LFA in KwaZulu Natal passed away during an “illegal and unsanctioned” match this week.
SAFA Umkhanyakude President, Jabulani Nxumalo claims that games that were being held in the Mtubatuba LFA were not sanctioned as amateur football remains suspended and will only return if and when the country reaches level 1 of the national lockdown.
“We mourn with the family, friends and the team, the passing away of this future star who passed away prematurely,” said Nxumalo.
“As SAFA Umkhanyakude, we were not aware of these games being played as we have insisted to the community not to break the government laws.
“I would like all our teams to respect these lockdown regulations and desist from playing all football in order to save lives. We will resume our leagues once the lockdown regulations are lifted,” added Nxumalo.
In a statement, SAFA said, “We would like to remind football fans across the country that the sport within amateur ranks remains suspended until the government advises otherwise.
“SAFA Umkhanyakude reported the death of a young football player in the Mtubatuba LFA who passed away while playing the game. The Region says these matches were illegal and unsanctioned and has resulted in the loss of life.
“The Association has in recent past urged the law enforcement agents to strictly enforce this rule after numerous Regions reported the flouting of the lockdown regulations by certain individuals.
“Only this week, SAFA Umkhanyakude reported the death of a young football player in the Mtubatuba LFA who passed away while playing the game.
“We, therefore, urge all parents not to let their children go out and play football because all our leagues are observing government lockdown rules,” reads the SAFA statement.
By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi