FORMER professional football players in Limpopo have slammed the province for not recognising their contribution when games are organised in the province.
The outcry follows the weekend tournament that featured Kaizer Chiefs, SuperSport United, BidvestWits and the visiting team from Denmark, Brondby.
The former players, who are still involved in the game's development structures in the province, said the province has neglected them by failing to engage them in major football activities. They are Gerald "Mgababa" Raphahlela, Andries "Local is Lekker" Sebola, Alex "Barnes" Bapela, Mike Rapatsa, Jacky "Styles" Ledwaba, Kingsley Masingi, Sydney Moshikaro and William Makhura. They feel neglected as they say the province failed to engage them when it mattered most.
"We have played the game up to the highest level and our efforts have come to naught in terms of our involvement when there are important soccer events in the province," said Sebola, who coaches the Mokopane Soccer Academy.
"The recent Peter Mokaba Cup at the weekend made matters worse as we had to go around looking for tickets to gain access to the stadium. We have done a lot in terms of improving the standard of football in the province and we do not deserve this kind of treatment."
Raphahlela called on the Polokwane municipality and the South African Football Association to start a programme that would ensure the recognition of former professional soccer players.
"We've got soccer legends in Limpopo as we have in Gauteng. But those in this province (Limpopo) do not receive the same recognition as their counterparts in Gauteng. This is not fair," said Raphahlela, a former Orlando Pirates defender.
"Imagine how painful it is for former professional players to pay entrance fees to watch their former teams play in their provinces. This is not on."
Moshikaro echoed the same sentiments, adding that legends in other provinces had been made 2010 ambassadors but were not being used to promote the 2010 Fifa World Cup matches.
Polokwane municipality spokersperson Simon Mokoatedi said the former players should feel free to approach them.