Sundowns face gruelling schedule after PSL reject request for fixture postponement

06 September 2016 - 18:44 By Mark Gleeson

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) have rejected Mamelodi Sundowns' request for a postponement of league games and an MTN8 semifinal in order to be fresher for their bid for a place in the African Champions League final.The decision comes despite the PSL bending over to help Orlando Pirates twice in three years when they went in search of continental titlesSundowns wanted to have midweek games on Wednesday September 14 and September 21 postponed so they could concentrate on their bid to reach the final of Champions League.But the club said on Wednesday they had been told they must play Maritzburg United next Wednesday and that their MTN8 semifinal is now moved to between their two Champions League games. This is confirmed by the PSL.“We received communications from Sundowns asking for postponement and the league has written back citing our reasons for not being able to grant the postponements."We have wished them the best of luck for they are representing the country‚” said spokesman Luxolo September on Tuesday.The reasons have not been made public.The decision is expected to provoke accusations of favouritism for Pirates‚ whose owner Irvin Khoza is the league’s chairman.Pirates had up to nine different games postponed to allow them to be better prepared when they went to the Champions League final in 2013 and the African Confederation Cup final in 2015.Sundowns quietly create fearsome team that suddenly looks quite scaryMamelodi Sundowns‚ avoiding big announcements and fanfare‚ have done some solid business under the radar in reinforcing the country’s most imposing squad‚ culminating in Wednesday's signing of Anele Ngcongca. But Sundowns now face a busy September programme‚ made even worse by the fact that the second leg of their MTN8 semifinal against Chippa United will now be played between the two Champions League ties.Their programme now is:*Sunday‚ September 11 : away in Port Elizabeth versus Chippa United in the MTN8 semifinal*Wednesday‚ September 14: away at Maritzburg United*Saturday‚ September 17: away in Ndola‚ Zambia against Zesco United in the first leg of the African Champions League semifinal*Wednesday‚ September 21: home to Chippa United in the second leg of the MTN8 semifinal*Saturday‚ September 24: home to Zesco United in the second leg of the African Champions League semifinal Sundowns effectively play three cup semifinals in the space of seven days.Sundowns confirm Anele Ngcongca signingAnele Ngcongca has officially signed for Mamelodi Sundowns, the club confirmed on Wednesday, penning a three-year deal with an option for an extra season. “We do not understand why the league has not decided to help us‚” said Sundowns spokesman Thulani Thuswa. - TMG Digital

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