On a day, where all eyes were on Kaizer Chiefs and the potential of a deadline day scoop, heartbreak has enveloped the South African football fraternity following the news of Wiseman Meyiwa’s forced retirement.
The Pietermaritzburg-born player was a victim of a motor vehicle accident back in November of 2018 where he was believed to have sustained severe injuries but was on the recovering.
However, Amakhosi have since revealed that the extent of the injuries sustained has virtually left the 19-year-old wheelchair bound, subsequently ending what was a very promising career.
Meyiwa rose to stardom during the 2017/18 Primer Soccer League (PSL) season after being given his first team debut by Steve Komphela.
Meyiwa, who was a product of Chiefs’ academy, would go on to make 21 competitive senior team appearances for Chiefs and was a South Africa junior international.
“We are very disheartened that Wiseman’s promising career had to come to an end so abruptly when he still had so much to offer,” Chiefs chairman Kaizer Motaung said in a statement issued on their official website.
“This is the first time that we’ve ever had to deal with this situation in as far as players go, but we are doing our best to ensure that we give Wiseman all the support and care he needs. We are shattered because he is very young, everyone had high hopes of him and his family expected a lot from his football career. Yet, in the same breath we are grateful that his life has been spared,” he added.
Meanwhile, team doctor, Hashendra Ramjee shed light on the extent of Meyiwa's injuries.
“The thoracic vertebrae fracture was surgically repaired and he was transferred to Netcare Rehabilitation Hospital for further management. Wiseman has a permanent disability with a T6 paraplegia,” he explained.
“His treatment is currently being optimised to allow him to manage his disability,” he said.
Football manager Bobby Motaung also expressed his dismay but has reassured the public that Meyiwa will not be forgotten to the club.
“The club will endeavour to give Wiseman and his family all the support he needs, including trauma counselling – emotional and psychological. We will also assist with educational support to ensure he is self-sufficient in the future. We will also put proper support systems in place to make sure his home-based care is as comfortable as possible,” Bobby Motaung continued.
“We are also working closely with his teammates to ensure that they are able to deal with the shock,” he concluded.