Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
AMAZULU spokesperson Philani Mabaso says their players - though still devastated by the death of hugely talented defender Jan Sillo - will not be affected in their MTN8 match against Lamontville Golden Arrows on Sunday.
"The information I received this morning was that the players have decided that they will carry on with their training, and play Arrows," Mabaso said yesterday.
Sillo died tragically in a car crash in the early hours yesterday.
The accident took place on the N5 Road between Bethlehem and Harrismith in the Free State. Sillo was returning to Durban from his home town of Botshabelo, near Bloemfontein.
He had featured in Usuthu's Absa Premiership opener against Bidvest Wits at Chatsworth Stadium on Sunday. The match ended 2-all.
Eastern Free State police spokesperson Christopher Mophiring said the player's body was found by police and emergency personnel at about 2.30am on the side of the road.
He said a motorist, who drove past the scene, alerted the police about the accident.
Mophiring said the emergency team certified the 32-year-old player dead on arrival at the scene.
He said a case of culpable homicide was being investigated, adding that the deceased's body was at Phuthaditjhaba state mortuary.
"Jan was such a strong character and we truly believe that he would have wanted the boys to go ahead and play the match," a distraught Mabaso said.
"The onus is now on the boys to go out there, play their socks off and win the match, not only against Arrows but even the final, in memory of Jan."
He said they were aware that the players might be feeling the pain the most.
"Jan had been with us for a very long time, from our days with Zulu Royals, so he was seen as a member of AmaZulu FC, that is why this tragedy is weighing so heavily on all of us. It certainly has not been easy on the players," Mabaso said.
"We lost Siyabonga Mkhwanazi last year and just when we were getting used to the fact that he was no longer with us this happens."
Mabaso said a special prayer session would be arranged for Sillo to deal with the loss.
Usuthu technical director Clive Barker said they would miss the player dearly.
Premier Soccer League chief executive Kjetil Siem yesterday sent the PSL's heartfelt condolences to Sillo's bereaved family.