- When Fezile Hlophe was 11, he started to show interst in refereeing football games
- Sadly, at age 13, he was diagnosed with throat cancer, which interrupted his soccer dreams’
- But, despite his condition, Hlophe dedicated himself to the sport he was passionate about
- And after winning the battle against cancer, he went on to be the youngest South African referee to officiate an official match
Fezile Hlophe had to battle throat cancer when he was still a young teenager. But, he did not let his illness get him down.
Hlophe overcame the cancer and went on to get his name in the sport history books.
Why? Because, the 17-year-old Sowetan teen had become the youngest soccer referee in South African football history to oversee an official match, which was between the Kaizer Chiefs and the University of Pretoria
According to Lead SA, the Hlophe’s love for soccer started when he was still very young.
Briefly.co.za gathered the football fanatic was only 11-years-old when he started refereeing.
Recalling how he got interested in refereeing, Hlophe said they were playing a game in 2011, and they were looking for someone to officiate in a few Under-11 and Under-13 games.
“That’s when I said I can do it. After doing that, I started to take a strong interest.", the cancer survivor remembered.
But, his dreams of pursuing a career in football were put on hold, after he was diagnosed with throat cancer at the age of 13.
Despite his serious medical condition, Hlophe dedicated himself to his favourite sport, in between his cancer treatments, as he learned the game’s rules, and studied many matches on television.
When he overcame his cancer, he immediately started refereeing community games, which drew attention from Diski Nine9 and Absa.
"Together with his mentor, ex-Absa employee, Raymond, they turned his passion into a purpose. They helped him study for, and pass, the necessary exams to take his refereeing to the next level." said ABSA Prosper
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