Road safety institute Vias calls on football clubs not to give young players expensive fast cars
The road safety institute Vias has called on football clubs not to give their young players expensive, fast sportscars. Vias issued its call to the country's football clubs after a player from the First Division club OH Leuven was seriously injured in an accident in Liège Province on Thursday evening.
25-year-old Sofian Kiyine was driving at speed in Flémalle in Liège Province when his vehicle left the road and was catapulted into a sports hall. The midfielder was seriously injured.
Around 35 people were inside the sports hall when the accident happed. None of them were injured. The Judicial Authorities are currently investigating the precise circumstances surrounding the accident.
In the light of Thursday evening’s events and previous accidents involving professional footballers the road safety institute Vias has appealed to football clubs not to give young players fast sportscars and to offer them better guidance as to how they should behave while out on the roads.
Vias’ Stef Willems told VRT News that "It’s not the first time that something like this has happened. Remember Jonathan Legear who smashed into a petrol station one night a few years ago. There have also been several serious road accident in which young players, such as François Sterchele and Junior Mandala have lost their lives”.
Mr Willems says that young footballers being involve in these kinds of accidents is linked to several factors. “Young men in general run a greater risk of being involved in an accident, because their capacity to assess risk is not as well developed as among other groups. Young men are more inclined to over-estimate their driving ability”.
"This in combination with men that have a lot of money, a lot of free time and often are given an expensive sportscar without too many conditions being attached means that young professional footballers often end up before a magistrate or are involved in this kind of accident”.
Clubs should offer better guidance
Vias believes that football clubs should take a tougher stance against players that drive dangerously and should offer them better guidance about how to behave when they are out on the roads.
"Professional footballer receive assistance from dietitians, psychologists, etc., but no attention is given to how they behave while driving. This kind of accident is not good for the image of a football club”.
"Let young professional footballers do a course before they are able to drive this kind of expensive sportscar. Write in their contract that they should behave while driving. Or give them a smaller car. All that they need to go and train is a sports bag and that can fit easily into a small car”, Mr Willems told VRT News.