Kaizer Chiefs teenager Wiseman Meyiwa, who played for South Africa at the 2018 COSAFA Cup, has been forced to retire from football after serious injuries sustained in a car accident in November have left him with a T6 paraplegia.
Chiefs made the announcement on Thursday, revealing that the once highly-promising career of Meyiwa was now over just as it was beginning to get going.
“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. “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.”
According to team doctor Hashendra Ramjee, the 19-year-old 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,” he explains.
Since the accident, the club has continued to give him all the necessary support.
“His treatment is currently being optimised to allow him to manage his disability,” Dr Ramjee adds.
The talented midfielder left his home in KZN at the age of 14 to join the Kaizer Chiefs Youth Development Academy in 2014. He was promoted to the senior squad at the start of the 2017/18 season and capped his debut against Cape Town City in September 2017 with one of the goals in a 2-0 win. He played 21 games for Amakhosi.
On the international stage he represented South Africa at both the Under-17 and Under-20 World Cup tournaments in 2015 (Chile) and 2017 (South Korea) respectively.
He made two appearances at the COSAFA Cup last year as South Africa won the Plate final, and won three international caps in all.