A South African soccer player, midfielder Siphamandla ‘Spepe’ Mtolo, died suddenly on Tuesday while on the soccer pitch practicing with his
Accouncing his death, the football club he joined in 2020, Richards Bay FC, released a statement on Twitter. Sharing it with the caption “Official Statement regarding the passing of our player, 𝗦𝗶𝗽𝗵𝗮𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗹𝗮 “𝗦𝗽𝗲𝗽𝗲” 𝗠𝘁𝗼𝗹𝗼.” Richards Bay FC said:
“It is with deep sadness to announce that Richards Bay Football Club has untimely lost one of the Midielder, Siphamandla “Spepe” Mtolo He collapsed this morning during training. The club is not in a position to provide further information at this stage and ask that his family’s privacy is respected in this difficult time of bereavement.
“His presence both on and off the pitch will be solely missed. Thoughts and prayers of everyone in Richards Bay Football Club are with his family, friends and loved ones.”
Official Statement regarding the passing of our player, 𝗦𝗶𝗽𝗵𝗮𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗹𝗮 "𝗦𝗽𝗲𝗽𝗲" 𝗠𝘁𝗼𝗹𝗼. pic.twitter.com/TSrY25oXyq
— Richards Bay FC (@RichardsBayFC_) March 7, 2023
Commenting on Richards Bay FC’s Twitter post about Mtolo, people on Twitter commented with messages of condolence, saying things like:
May His Soul Rest in Eternal Peace and CONDOLENCES to his family, chairman, management,backroom staff,all supporters and loving soccer people. a sad day 🕯️🕯️🕯️
This is really sad news my heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and the clubs may the soul of the departed one rest in peace.
My sincerest condolences for you as a member,teammates,friends and family at this time. You have my deepest sympathy and unwavering support. Wishing you peace,Comfort,Courage,And lots of love at this time of sorrow. My heart goes out to you at this difficult time.Mayhis SoulRIP
The Premier Soccer League (PSL) also issued its condolences. Posting a message to its Twitter account, that league said:
“The PSL is deeply saddened by the untimely passing of Richards Bay Football Club midfielder, Siphamandla Mtolo. A moment of silence will be observed in his honour at this week’s Nedbank Cup and DStv Diski Challenge fixtures. May his soul repose peacefully.”
Commenting on that Twitter post from the PSL, people on Twitter again offered their messages of condolence and questions about what happened to Mtolo, saying things like:
This is truely sad, don’t clubs have medics during training sessions, I wonder if that wouldnt have mitigated against this loss. 🤦🏽. If not time for administrators to tighten controls.
HSRIP. There is a growing trend in which soccer players collapse and die.(I’m not familiar with any other sports domains.) It appears that there may be new diseases associated with exercise and sudden death. There is no documented research, but I believe the data is accumulating.
MHSRIP 💔🙏 Hamba Kahle 🕊️💙
Those team doctors needs to do better at their jobs, they would’ve seen this coming.
The South African Football Association also acknowledged Mtolo’s sudden death in a statement shared online.
“The South African Football Association (SAFA) has offered some words of comfort and sympathy to the family of Richards Bay midfielder Siphamandla Mtolo after the midfielder’s passing on Tuesday.”
“We as the South African Football Association would like to convey our sincerest condolences, deepest sympathy and heartfelt sorrow to his family, friends and the club during this difficult time. May his soul rest peace.”
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