South African footballer stabbed to death

Cape Town: South African footballer Jeffrey Ntuka was stabbed to death on Saturday, a football website said.

The stabbing took place in a nightclub in the 26-year-old Ntuka`s hometown of Kroonstad in the Free State province, a website reports.

The report said the former Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United player -- who is a product of English giants Chelsea -- may have been stabbed after a brawl.

Ntuka`s representative group Stella Africa confirmed the news.

"I just spoke to his wife for a couple of minutes and she confirmed that Ntuka has passed away after being stabbed in a township in Kroonstad," Stella Africa`s Michael Hughes told the website.

Ntuka had five Bafana caps and was a former regular South Africa under-23 player.

He joined Chelsea in 2003 as an 18-year-old without featuring for the side. He was loaned out to Belgian side Westerlo until his contract expired in 2009.

He returned to South Africa to join Kaizer Chiefs for two seasons, and last played for SuperSport United, both without commanding a regular spot in a career hampered by alleged alcohol abuse.

"When his contract expired with United, he had an unsuccessful trial with a second division Belgian side, but we have been motivating him, and he has been keeping fit," said Hughes.

The South African Press Association said Ntuka was part of a troubled generation of footballers that were one of the causes of the national team`s downslide in the last decade.