Maketo, who was buried at his rural home in Mhondoro last Tuesday, was part of a team that was involved in a head-on collision on their way to a social match over the weekend.
The tragic accident also left youngsters Simbarashe Simoko, Edward Mandipe, Sherz Noor, Freddy Katumba, Knowledge Bandare, Onias Nyangombe, Arkim Masango and Farai Nyangombe with injuries.
No one can tell yet whether they are going to bounce back into the field of play or not.
But what is certain is that the accident is yet another reminder of the dangers our footballers face when they go on unsanctioned matches.
For a long time, the country’s football governing body Zifa has been at loggerheads with players and clubs that participate in unsanctioned matches.
If the match had been sanctioned by Zifa, the deceased player’s family could claim benefits from whoever organised the match while those that were injured could get assistance from the organisers.
Players need to be aware of the importance of not participating in unsanctioned matches, especially during off-season.
Road carnages are not new to soccer, after the fraternity lost one of its promising defenders Watson Muhoni in a similar incident in the 1990s.
Muhoni, a tough tackling defender who had joined DeMbare from Division One and other players were involved in a road accident when they were going for a social match.
In March 2004, CAPS United players Blessing Makunike, Shingi Arlon and Gary Mashoko died after their car was involved in an accident at Manyame Bridge while they were coming from a league match. The trio had disembarked from the official team bus.
Now that the soccer season is only two weeks away from kick-off, all clubs must ensure their players do not fall victim to these accidents. For any trip, clubs must take precautionary measures to avoid accidents.
I think it is vital to take all the team buses for maintenance every time they travel to save lives.
Again I would want to applaud clubs like Hwange who have resolved that their team bus does not travel anytime after 6pm. I think all the clubs must adopt the same regulations.
Players should also desist from taking part in unsanctioned matches.
May the departed players’ souls rest in eternal peace.
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