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Ex-players congregate to look into the future  

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Football stakeholders congregated at SAFA House on Tuesday, 29 January 2019 to brainstorm solutions on how footballers can live a sustainable life long after they hang up their boots.

There have been growing complains of how most former footballers die poor and the gist of Tuesday’s meeting was precisely to look at ways to correct this.

The meeting was attended by among others, ex footballers, members of the South African Football Coaches Association (SAFCA), South African Football Players Union (SAFPU), South African Masters & Legends FA, Media and lawyers.

Some of the big names that attended this brainstorming session include the likes of Augustine Makalakalane, David Nyathi, Brian Baloyi, Simba Marumo, Innocent Mayoyo, Portia Modise, Khabo Zitha, Mike Ntombela, Bhudha Mathathe and Bennet Mnguni.

At the end of the day-long session, a Working Group was formed to thrash out the issues on how players can benefit in the long run after their ‘short’ playing career. The Working Group is expected to report back by the end of February.

Some of the issues they will have to look at include the creation of the Awareness, Investment and Retirement fund as well as skills development especially in financial literacy space.

The robust discussions also touched on players having a compulsory pension fund. “Some monies should be put away for rainy days as football is a very short career,” said one delegate.

Another possible solution which came out of the discussion was the creation of the business wing for former players and this would be established with the help of the Department of Sport and Treasury.

It was also suggested that for most of the coaching and administrative courses offered internationally that the first priority must be given to former players.

SAFA must create a skills transfer space to teach former players various aspects of how to manage their lives long after their playing careers. This include creation of business opportunities as well as looking into funeral and retirement matters of the players.

The tax bracket of football players was too high and this is something the government should work on, considering the shortness of the football career.

The Working Group comprises members from SAFCA, SAFPU, SAMLFA, SAFA, Government and other prominent persons.

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