Maseru, March 08 — The Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) says club licensing requires players to produce a medical certificate at the beginning of every season.
This follows reports that DStv Premiership club Richards Bay FC has announced news of the death of their midfielder Siphamandla Mtolo after he collapsed in training on Tuesday morning.
When approached for comment on the issue, LeFA Media Officer Mr Mikia Kalati stated that in its Club Licencing registration system requirements, is that each player should produce a club licensing certificate which is a proof that such a player has undergone a medical check up to ensure that is healthy and free from any cardiac attack.
Moreover, he said each of the 16 premier league teams have a medical officer whose role is to ensure compliance of all the players to the medical requirements who should sign on the medical certificates that all the medical processes have been fulfilled.
Again, Mr. Kalati said each team is also expected to partner with any health centre or clinic in its vicinity so that the players could undertake any medical check-ups there for a minimal fee.
The LeFA Media Officer appealed to all the teams to ensure that their players have undertaken the medical check-ups to minimise any chances of players being attacked by the cardiac attacks.
Nonetheless, he said it was fortunate that Lesotho being a small country with little facilities has not experienced such a tragedy.
He therefore extended heartfelt condolences on behalf of LeFA and the football fraternity to Mtolo’s family and friends, Richards Bay as a club and to the South African Football Association (SAFA) as well as to Katleho Makateng.
Mr Kalati said he has since spoken to Makateng about the tragedy saying the Likuena international player stated that Mtolo was one of the players who welcomed him into the club, saying they were close to each other.
‘’He has been affected by the untimely death of Mtolo and I tried to console him and to let it not affect his performance at the club,’’ he commented.
According to Sowetan daily tabloid, the club said it could not divulge further details or the medical reason for the shock death of the 29 year-old footballer.
“It is with deep sadness that Richards Bay FC announce the untimely loss of one of our midfielders, Siphamandla ‘Spepe’ Mtolo,” the club said on Tuesday.
“He collapsed this morning during training. The club is not in a position to provide further information at this stage and asks that his family’s privacy be respected at this difficult time of bereavement.
“Motolo’s presence both on and off the pitch will be sorely missed. The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Richards Bay FC are with his family, friends and loved ones.”
Mtolo was reported to have been with the Natal Rich Boyz since 2020 after joining them from Motsepe Foundation Championship team Uthongathi.
He was part of the squad that helped the team from northern KwaZulu-Natal gain automatic promotion to the Premiership last year.
Mtolo had made nine appearances for Richards this season, eight in the league and one in the Nedbank Cup.
His last match for the club was the 1-0 defeat to Soweto’s Kaizer Chiefs last Saturday, where he played the entire game at King Zwelithini Stadium.
Mtolo’s death comes soon after the Stellenbosch FC lost youngster Oswin Andries through a stabbing-related injury last month.
Meanwhile another player Moustapha Sylla is reported to have collapsed and died on the field of play while playing in Ivory Coast last Sunday.
Sylla who was aged only 21 was certified dead after collapsing while playing and even though attempts to rush him to hospital were made, he eventually died according to the Ivory Coast Federation.