Former Zambian international soccer player Philemon Mulala has died after being mauled by his three dogs in South Africa.
The 60-year-old’s wife found him after the attack in his garden in Lichtenburg on the weekend.
“She did not bother to go and check what was wrong [when the dogs were barking] as their house is situated on a busy street and the dogs frequently barked at pedestrians and vehicles passing by,” police spokesman Captain Sam Tselanyane said in a statement seen by ESPN.
“After the electricity was restored [after loadshedding], she went inside looking for her husband, but could not find him.
“Upon continuing with her search, the woman saw her husband lying motionless outside in the garden.
“She then went outside, only to find that the husband was bitten by their dogs.”
Mr Mulala was a national football star and was nicknamed Shombo, meaning hard worker.
The Football Association of Zambia said in a statement posted to Facebook that the football community was mourning the former Mufulira Wanderers and Zambia National Team star.
A statement read: “It’s such a tragic end. Many who watched him, especially fans of Mufulira Wanderers, have been pouring out their grief.”
The association highlighted that Mr Mulala was part of the 1984 East and Central Africa Challenge squad under Colonel Brightwell Banda that won the trophy – Zambia’s first-ever cup triumph.
Mr Mulala notably scored two goals in the semi-final against Kenya, which helped his country go on to win their first silverware.
FAZ general secretary Adrian Kashala said the football community had lost “a gallant soldier”.
“We remain with wonderful memories that the late Philemon honoured us with on the pitch. There is a lot that today’s players can learn from the deceased’s generation,” he said.
Mr Mulala subsequently moved to South Africa to represent Cape Town Spurs and Dynamos FC, according to ESPN.