Football: Devastated Wolfsburg to go ahead with South African trip after 1-day delay

BERLIN (AFP) - The death of Belgian Under-21 international midfielder Junior Malanda has left his German football club Wolfsburg devastated but they will still go to South Africa for their training camp, said sporting director Klaus Allofs on Sunday.

The 20-year-old was in the back seat of a car travelling to join his team-mates on Saturday afternoon when it smashed into a tree - the two other people in the car survived.

"It was not an easy decision but we think that it is the good one," said Allofs.

"The team were totally devastated when they learnt the news."

He said the team would fly out later on Sunday, having cancelled their original flight scheduled for Saturday on learning the news.

"We were told of the news when we were already at the airport (Hanover) and we decided immediately to cancel the flight," said Allofs.

Dieter Hecking, coach of Wolfsburg, was in tears at the press conference.

"He has a left a huge gap. But I think it was the correct decision to distance ourselves from Wolfsburg," said Hecking.

Wolsburg, second in the league table behind defending champions Bayern Munich at the time of the winter break, will stay in South Africa till Jan 17, which will include a game against South African second-placed league side Ajax on the 14th.

Some of the Wolfsburg entourage may fly home early if the funeral of Malanda takes place during their sojourn.

Before joining the Bundesliga club, Malanda had played at Anderlecht in Belgium and at Lille in France.

He had 15 under-21 caps with Belgium and had played 10 Bundesliga games this season.