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Belgian club allows Meyiwa's team mate to attend funeral

30 October 2014, 16:03

Cape Town - Belgian club Oostende has allowed South Africa international midfielder Andile Jali to fly home to attend the weekend funeral of national soccer team captain Senzo Meyiwa, who was shot dead by burglars on Sunday.

Jali will miss Saturday's match between Oostende and struggling Waasland-Beveren after being given permission to attend the funeral of his former Orlando Pirates team mate.

"I understand that Andile wants to say goodbye. They grew up together and were not only team mates in the South African national team but also at Orlando Pirates," coach Fred Vanderbiest told Voetbalkrant.nl on Thursday.

Meyiwa's funeral has been moved from a stadium in his home township of Umlazi, on the outskirts of Durban, to the city's 54,000-seater Moses Mabhida Stadium because large crowds are expect to attend, the country's Premier Soccer League confirmed.

The league also postponed the flagship derby between Pirates and arch rivals Kaizer Chiefs, set to draw some 80,000 at Soccer City in Johannesburg on Saturday.

But it drew criticism with an initial decision to go ahead with the rest of the weekend's top flight league fixtures and on Thursday finally called off all other football.

The South African Football Association also moved their next African Nations Cup qualifier against Sudan from Nelspruit to Meyiwa's hometown of Durban.

Meyiwa captained South Africa in their first four Nations Cup qualifiers over the last two months without conceding a goal.

The 27-year-old was killed in what appears to have been a scuffle during an attempted robbery at his girlfriend's house on Sunday night.

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- Reuters


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