The Premier Soccer League (PSL) has in place an insurance policy that pays out deceased or permanently injured players. But I think the time has come for the policy to be revised as it is deeply skewed against players it is supposed to benefit.
Richard Henyekane, Cecil Lolo and Senzo Meyiwa tragically passed away in road accidents at the height of their careers. But for some strange reasons, the insurance pay-out, I’m told, was shared equally between the club and the player’s family.
Meyiwa’s insurance is alleged to have paid out R4-m and 50% of the amount was paid to his former club Orlando Pirates and the rest to Meyiwa’s estate. I also understand that former Polokwane City player Kopano Sekgobela was paid out R160 000 and heaven knows how much his former club was paid out.
My point is, why has the PSL accepted a policy in which certain players, for whatever reason, get paid a substantial amount and others get paid a pittance? I was under the impression that all players, irrespective of their race or colour, are equal in the eyes of the organization.
Why is a Polokwane City player allegedly paid out R160 000 and an Orlando Pirates player gets paid out R2-m? Is it perhaps because some clubs contributes more to the insurance fund and are thus entitled to a larger pay-out?
But crucially, why do clubs, some considered among the richest institutions within the South African landscape, require a share of the pay-out instead of voluntarily forfeiting their share to the family of a player who has served them loyally during his playing days?
In light of the passing of Phil Masinga and many others who have served the game but died paupers, is it not time that the insurance policy is revised to ensure players receive the entire pay-out in the case of death or permanent injury?
I suggest that the PSL contribute 5% of their gate takings to the insurance fund and SAFA can also contribute an equal amount from their international matches while football sponsors are also encouraged to contribute to the growth of the insurance.
I have just read a statement from the PSL Chief Operations Officer (COO) Ronnie Schloss in light of Wiseman Meyiwa’s premature end to his career, that a substantial amount would be paid out to Meyiwa, but that his club Kaizer Chiefs would also receive a 50% share of that pay-out.
Please do not get me wrong. I am not in any way blaming Kaizer Chiefs or suggesting they are greedy because they have unselfishly committed themselves to assist Meyiwa who is now crippled following a car accident last November, throughout the days of his life.
In addition, the rule have been in place for some time now and even Orlando Pirates have received 50% shares of the pay-out from the policies of Lesley Manyathela, Senzo Meyiwa and Clifford Moleko among others.
In my view, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates are among the richest clubs in the continent and can surely do without a share of the insurance policy of a player that has served them loyally while he was still alive. It just seem so morally wrong.
While at it, would it be asking too much of clubs to annually stage Testimonial or Charitable matches to raise funds for this particular Trust and then donate it to the Insurance pot? But perhaps other people feel differently. I welcome your views.