Limpopo - The death in a weekend accident of four soccer players has robbed the country of future soccer stars, the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) said on Monday.

“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.

The four players were killed on Sunday night when 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 football fraternity was still recovering following the death of former Bafana Bafana assistant coach Thomas Madigage, said Mbebe.

“May their souls rest in peace.” - Sapa