SAFA should honour national legends
Posted: 17 September 2018 Time: 21:00
The South African Football Association needs to do more to pay tribute to players who have substantially contributed towards the national game as a whole, such as Siyabonga Nomvethe.
Nomvethe recently announced he will call time on his career at the end of the current season – possibly playing beyond his 41st birthday in December, after more than two decades since his professional debut.
The stalwart has been a model footballer both on and off the field, having had minimal negative media coverage over his lifestyle or personal activities and showing just what lengths professionalism in the game can take one to.
Often players, like the late Shoes Mosheou, are only really honoured at the time of their passing, while living legends rarely get the true plaudits they rightfully deserve.
Players who have been assets not only to their clubs and national teams, but also good role models within the sport we so dearly love in South Africa, have been denied the opportunity to have a benefit match upon their retirement – the likes of Doctor Khumalo, Helman Mkhalele, Thabo Mooki, Matthew Booth, Sibusiso Zuma and Benni McCarthy to name but a few.
It is time SAFA, who have often been the beneficiaries of these legends, plough back into their careers by organising testimonials, and setting a precedent for such could not be more fitting for someone like ‘Bhele’ at this present opportunity.
International breaks often pose tough challenges to the association in as far as arranging friendlies are concerned when only one competitive fixture is on the calendar, but a testimonial featuring the current Bafana side against a Nomvethe invitational team would not only bode well for the national team camp but also boost crowd attendance as a legend is seen off the stage.
This would also inspire the next generation of legends to continue striving for greatness not only at club level but also in the national team’s colours.