Ex-Chiefs defender lashes clubs at launch of football union

“It is a sad reality that in this day and age, some players still don’t get their contract copies after signing with clubs. And some players don’t receive their salary advice from their clubs. So there has to be programmes in place to try and address these issues.”

This startling revelation was made by newly elected Football Union of South Africa (Fusa) president Tefu Mashamaite. He said this during an interview with Sunday World on Thursday.

Difficult to apply for benefits

It has become the norm in local football to find out information in the media about the plight of players. Information that current and retired players are struggling to apply for unemployment and insurance benefits and other benefits.

Some pass away as paupers after living a fancy lifestyle during their heydays.

Mashamaite said their union has made strides in ensuring their members don’t find themselves in sticky situations in the future.

“On Monday, the 22nd, we held a financial literacy seminar at Emperors Palace. It was aimed at helping players create, protect, and manage wealth. It is this kind of educational programme that Fusa intends to constantly engage in. This will bring education and awareness to our football,” hesaid.

Represent, advocate for interests of stakeholders

The newly formed union held its inaugural congress in Johannesburg two weeks ago.

The former Bafana Bafana, Kaizer Chiefs, and SuperSport United defenders will have King Ndlovu and Zaid Patel as his two deputies. Taelo Motloung will be Secretary-General, Augustine Ramphele will be Deputy Secretary General. Lerato Phetoe will be treasurer of the union.

“Our mandate is to represent and advocate for the interests of all football stakeholders who need representation. These are professional and amateur footballers, ladies, coaches, and others,” said Mashamaite.

Despite the union having just been established, Mashamaite patted himself on the back by proclaiming they had had successes in solving cases for their members.

Success stories

“To date, Fusa has presided over 60 cases, with 22 successful, 38 pending judgements, and 0 losses. We have two international cases in Kosovo and Lesotho.”

Mashamaite advised his peers not to venture into coaching after retiring but to also get involved in the political economy of football.

An advocate of education himself, he holds an International Relations degree, and is studying towards the Sports Management degree. The 2014/2015 PSL Footballer of the Season wants to create an environment that will produce players that are aware. He says  awareness is created through education.

Mental health of players

“Another important aspect that we want to prioritise is the issue of mental health. Players face a lot of challenges during and after football. It is therefore imperative that we step forward in creating platforms that will help. These will help in assisting with issues like depression and other psychological issues.”

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