Prepare for life after football

HARARE - The welfare of former footballers is something that deserves immediate attention.

This is an issue that only gets debated when a former player passes away and details of their hardships emerge, but this should not be the case.

Details of how former Warriors captain Nqobizitha Maenzanise was at the time of his death working as a caretaker at the Baptist Church in Bulawayo makes for sad reading considering that this is a man who not only played for his country but also for the cash-rich AmaZulu Football Club.

The lack of a pension scheme that caters for retired footballers and administrators is the major reason why former players struggle to make ends meet upon retirement.

It is sad that the football leadership in the country has continued to pay lip service to this very important issue and, as a result, many former players continue to live from hand to mouth.

What is needed is for the football leadership from the various bodies that include the Zimbabwe Football Association as the football mother body, the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe (Fuz) to put their heads together and come up with a lasting solution to this embarrassing situation.

The first step should be focused on the education of the current crop of players on the importance of saving their earnings and investing wisely.

It is imperative that footballers should be made aware that the period of playing soccer is very short and therefore they should prepare for life after football.

Previous efforts to set up a pension scheme for football players have been scuttled after the players baulked at the thought of having to contribute towards the initiative which to them means pocketing less money at the end of the month.

We believe this was because no effort was made to educate the footballers on the long term advantages of such an initiative and so this point has to be well-articulated to them if a pension scheme is to take off.

The Footballers Union has got to take the lead in educating their members on the importance of contributing towards a pension scheme and this is possible if all stakeholders work together towards achieving this goal.

We cannot continue to allow a situation where our heroes immediately sink into destitution the moment they hang up their boots.

Comments (1)

very true lets put hands together for the good brain ,not tomorrow ,now!!!!!!!

george mudiwa - 26 February 2014

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