Players' union joins call for the PSL to postpone Sundowns match and give them time to mourn Madisha
The South African Football Players Union (Safpu) has added its voice to the mounting calls for the Premier Soccer League (PSL) to give Mamelodi Sundowns time to mourn their player Motjeka Madisha and postpone the club's league match against TS Galaxy on Tuesday night.
The 25-year-old from Ga-Madisha village in Zebediela in Limpopo reportedly died when the vehicle he was travelling in crashed into a steel pole in wet conditions and burst into flames near Kempton Park on Sunday morning.
But the PSL has reportedly not granted Sundowns' request for a postponement of Tuesday's fixture and this has attracted immense criticism from observers and fans.
Safpu president Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe said Sundowns have a strong case and should not play against Galaxy as the match comes just days after Madisha's death.
"After consultation with all the stakeholders‚ we are certain‚ having taken every aspect of the game‚ that there's a great need for the postponement of the Mamelodi Sundowns and TS Galaxy game.
"There's a greater need for all parties to sit and pave the way forward should something of this magnitude happen again‚" he said in a statement.
The accident happened just after midnight and Madisha’s sports car caught fire on Zuurfontein road near Sundowns' training base in Chloorkop.
It is not clear whether Madisha was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident as one person was thrown out while the other one was trapped inside the burning car.
His death came just weeks after former Bafana defender and Sundowns player Anele Ngcongca also died in a horrific car accident.
Ngcongca died in a car crash on the N2 outside Mtunzini on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast last month and was buried in his hometown in Cape Town a few days ago.
Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena did not hold back when the decision to continue with Tuesday's match became public and took to social media to voice his unhappiness.
"Some things make you fall out of love with the game… I've always said football is the most important of the least important things in life‚" posted Mokwena on his Twitter account.
"Surely‚ the grief‚ pain and our mourning of the life of someone dear to us is more important than football. Surely."
The PSL have been slammed for not being consistent in applying their rules in such matches as there have been instances when matches were postponed to allow teams time to grieve for their players.
Many fans and observers pointed out that the entire PSL programme was postponed in October 2014 when former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa was killed during a shooting at his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo's home in Johannesburg.
At the time of writing the PSL had not indicated whether they would accede to calls to reschedule Sundowns' encounter against Galaxy.
Sundowns are also scheduled to play Lamontville Golden Arrows on Saturday at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in another Premiership tie.