Siyabonga Sangweni's retirement means many things to many people in the football fraternity.
Firstly, for him, it means he cannot continue to play his favourite sport, something he's been doing for most of his life. It is very unfortunate for one's career to end so abruptly, especially when the player wasn't mentally prepared for it.
Secondly, it is an example for all other young players out there to learn that football is a very short career. We've heard countless stories of former footballers failing to make a living after their playing days. We do not know if that will be the case with the former Golden Arrows man; however, all footballers must remember that, just like with Sangweni, an injury can end one's career instantly.
Lastly, it is the responsibility of our soccer clubs to make education compulsory to all their players, from grassroots level up to the first team. They could build relationships with educational institutions across the country for their players to continue studying while playing football, so that they can have a healthy mind in a healthy body.
This will benefit the players and the soccer clubs in the long run as players will be able to give back to football after their playing days, with the relevant qualifications and footballing experience. The league should stipulate this as one of the prerequisites for all the teams in all the football divisions.
If you had to look at it carefully, most of the foreign players in the PSL have qualifications, but only a small number of South African players do. It's something that should be noted by our league.
Most of these players earn big money, but because of lack of education, they end up misusing the money, even those who go on to invest end up making the wrong business decisions, going broke after their playing days. They focus on football then education because of the love, passion and the monetary value of it. They need to be educated. Football is a very short career!
What do you think our league should do to ensure that players do not lose their grips on their finances after retirement? Share your thoughts below.