Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund expressed sadness on Monday at the death of four Polokwane City soccer players in a weekend crash.

“It's so sad. It doesn't matter if you knew them or not, they were in the football fraternity and a life is a life,” he said.

“A life is very precious and all we can say is that God gives the families the strength and the power and wisdom to handle a tragedy like this.”

Khomotso Sylvester Mpaketsane, Mojalefa Robert Mphuthi, Koketso Isaiah Takalo and Benjamin Moeketsi Nthete died on Sunday in the crash near Polokwane, in Limpopo.

Their minibus collided with a bakkie on the R71, near Polokwane.

The taxi, which was carrying 25 members of the Polokwane City football club, was travelling from Oscar Mphetha stadium, where the team had played their National First Division match against FC AK.

The taxi landed on its side, in the path of oncoming traffic, and was hit by a bus carrying members of the Zion Christian Church.

The Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) said the accident had robbed the country of future soccer stars.

“We are saddened by the fact that the country and the continent has been robbed of future national and international stars,” said Afcon CEO Mvuzo Mbebe.

“We had hoped that the players would also be with us to celebrate another milestone in South Africa when we host the Afcon in February 2013,” he said. - Sapa