Thusa Phala’s dramatic exit out of Black Leopards has been followed by a shocking retirement.
Phala’s mother and agent, Suzan, angrily questioned why her son was not played despite working hard to earn the opportunity.
"In all fairness, if a person spends six months in your team not playing, what do you expect him to do, huh? He tried by all means, he was going to training, fulfilling everything," Suzan said to Kick Off.
"They had their own reasons why they were unable to play him. Thuso stayed there not playing, and he was frustrated. We thought he was going to honour his contract up until May.
Phala, now 33, was at his six PSL club since starting out at Silver Stars in 2006. He later went on to clubs like Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns, Platinum Stars and SuperSport United.
"Thuso is old but we expected him to play and finish the season well. I always used to tell him, 'Honour your contract, whether they play you or they don't, whether you sit on the bench or you don't, honour your contract up until they fire you,' which he did.
"It's not like I'm protecting my boy, no I'm not. But I've been in football, we know such tricks. And as for me, I always say no one will mess up with my boy, no one."
"To put him on the bench as if he's a learner... and they can't give you the exact problem of Thuso. They were claiming he was injured. He never got injured," she added
"You know, the way Leopards hurt him, he decided he wants to hang up his boots. He's had enough.
"But it was not the initial plan. The plan was for him to play and retire very well. We wanted him to have a farewell, because you understand he has a crowd, people love him so much. We wanted to give him a good send-off,” concluded the mom.