With the business of football facing major turmoil due to the worldwide impact of Covid-19, North-West University (NWU) alumnus and South African Football Professional Union (SAFPU) President Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe says the union continues with its mandate to protect and defend football players’ rights during the pandemic.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a complete standstill in the world in relation to sport, and where domestic football is concerned, it continues to threaten the contractual stability on the home front,” says Thulaganyo.
“Currently, our mission is to continue to assist our members in negotiations around salary cuts, ensuring that their views are expressed without any fear or favour. We also assist our members financially where possible, while they navigate through the current challenges. In short: we have become a critical resource that they need at this point.”
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Thulaganyo says the pandemic has impacted sport across the world negatively, including professional football.
“The pandemic has affected professional football severely, especially with regard to relegation and promotion. This includes players’ contracts that are due at the end of the current season and proposed amendments to the current terms of contracts, particularly with regard to salaries. As things stand today, the South African football leagues are temporarily suspended,” he adds.
“This impacts the livelihood of our members and their ability not only to practice their trade, but also their ability to comply with their financial responsibilities as result of the impact it has had on the economy in general.
“Of course our priority would be to finish the league, and unfortunately this is not an easy decision to make. There are financial and health issues at play, and we need to maintain a balance between the two. We must still have football beyond Covid-19; this sector is important,” adds Thulaganyo.
More about Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe
Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe has played in both the National First Division (inland and coastal streams) League and the PSL. The clubs that he has played for include Silver Stars, Bush Bucks, Classic, Mabopane Young Masters, Amazulu / Zulu Royals, Hellenic and Dangerous Darkies. He also had the honour of representing South Africa in the Student World Games held in Japan.
Thulaganyo holds a BCom degree from the NWU. He has served South African Football Players Union (SAFPU) as the deputy-secretary general, secretary general and is currently president of the union.
More about SAFPU
The South African Football Players Union is a registered not-for-profit organisation that has been in existence since 1997.The organisation represents the interests of football players and its key focus is the development of football in South Africa.
SAFPU has international support from the Federation of the International Professional Footballers (FIFPRO). FIFPRO is the representative of professional football players worldwide and was initiated by five countries: the Netherlands, Italy, France, England and Scotland. Currently the federation serves Africa (where Thulaganyo serves as a board member), Europe, Asia and the Americas.
DID YOU KNOW?
NWU currently have nine alumni playing professional football in South Africa: Thabo Mnyamane (2013 – SuperSport United), Xola Mlambo (2013 – Orlando Pirates), Tumelo Bodibe (2013 – TS Galaxy), Shane April (2013 – University of Pretoria), Orebotse Mongae (2014, 2016 – Baroka until December 2019), Lindani Nkabinde (2018-19 – Baroka), Mandisi Gadla (2018-19 – Baroka), Luzuko Jevuka (2016-19 – Mbombela United)
Article courtesy NWU Media