Kaizer Chiefs have confirmed that young midfielder Wiseman Meyiwa has been forced to retire from football due to injuries sustained in a car accident.
Meyiwa, 19, was involved in a motor vehicle accident on November 3 last year near Villiers in the Free State on his way home to Pietermaritzburg.
During a press conference at the club’s headquarters at Naturena on Thursday, Amakhosi Football Manager Bobby Motaung and Dr Hashendra Ramjee broke the devastating news to members of the media.
The former SA Under-20 and Under-17 international has been left a paraplegic due to a spinal injury.
Ramjee said Meyiwa sustained various injuries, including “an unstable fracture of his thoracic vertebrae with spinal cord injury”.
“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,” Ramjee said in a statement on the Chiefs website.
“His treatment is currently being optimised to allow him to manage his disability.”
Motaung added: “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.
“We are also working closely with his teammates to ensure that they are able to deal with the shock.”
Club boss Kaizer Motaung Snr said: “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.
“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.”
Meyiwa earned 21 caps for the Chiefs senior team, having come through the club’s development academy from the age of 14.
He was part of the SA Under-17 and Under-20 sides at their respective World Cups in 2015 and 2017.