Why Mosimane could field second-string side in Sundowns' final league fixture

02 May 2018 - 12:39 By Marc Strydom
Mamelodi Sundowns players lift their coach Pitso Mosimane in celebrations.
Mamelodi Sundowns players lift their coach Pitso Mosimane in celebrations.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Mamelodi Sundowns might have to field a second-string team in Bloemfontein to celebrate lifting the Absa Premiership trophy after their final fixture against Bloemfontein Celtic‚ coach Pitso Mosimane has said.

Mosimane bemoaned the scheduling of a Caf Champions League Group C match against Horoya in Conakry‚ Guinea on Tuesday‚ May 15‚ just four days after meeting Celtic at Dr Molemela Stadium on Saturday‚ May 12.

He said he might have to send a full-strength side to Guinea on the Friday‚ meaning the PSL trophy would be lifted by fringe players in Bloemfontein.

“After that Bloemfontein game‚ on Tuesday we are in Guinea. So how are we going to deal with that?” the coach asked.

“Really‚ really‚ it’s a thorn in the flesh because how do you come out of Bloemfontein on a Saturday after the match? Which flight?

“And you need at least 48 hours before the match. And then when you land in Guinea‚ you land at night‚ and then you are playing the next day.

“So‚ are we going to compromise our Champions League position because of that? I’m not sure about that.

“We’ll see. Probably I will have to make sure that I look after Mamelodi Sundowns’ Champions League space.

“Because we have worked hard in the Champions League. And then we give it away because people will say‚ ‘Ah you’re juggling the team now’.

“Somewhere‚ somehow we have got to be a little bit selfish. Probably give other guys a chance and maybe take the other [full-strength] team to Guinea earlier‚ on the Friday.

“But it’s not nice also that they are not there when you raise the trophy.

“But it’s the way it is. It’s Caf [the Confederation of African Football] and our PSL league – they are just not really‚ really what Europe has where you’re given a chance to celebrate.

“And you would like to celebrate at the end of the game. But now you have to leave.

“But it has also happened with us when we won the [2016] Champions League in Alexandria. The next day you have got to train.

“The next day you have got to come here and play the [Telkom Knockout] semifinals against Chippa here. It’s an anticlimax.

“But it’s the way it is because two seasons of Champions League are overlapping in one season of the PSL.”

It is difficult to see what the PSL might have done about the situation. The league's final round of matches are scheduled at the same kickoff time‚ on the same day‚ on May 12.

Perhaps some flexibility from Caf might have helped Sundowns‚ though. A charter flight out of Bloemfontein could also resolve the situation.

Sundowns travel straight from Guinea to Togo to meet AS Togo-Port in Lome on Thursday‚ May 17.

Downs kick off their Champions League group stage campaign against holders Wydad Casasblanca at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday night.