PSL grants Sundowns permission to face Spanish powerhouses Barcelona

07 May 2018 - 13:37 By Ofentse Ratsie
Sundowns celebrate the opening goal during the Nedbank Cup Semi Final between Maritzburg United and Mamelodi Sundowns at Harry Gwala Stadium on April 22, 2018 in Durban, South Africa.
Sundowns celebrate the opening goal during the Nedbank Cup Semi Final between Maritzburg United and Mamelodi Sundowns at Harry Gwala Stadium on April 22, 2018 in Durban, South Africa.
Image: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) has granted Mamelodi Sundowns permission to host La Liga giants FC Barcelona in a high profile friendly match next week.

Sundowns‚ who opened their CAF Group C campaign with a 1-1 home draw against holders Wydad Casablanca of Morocco in Atteridgeville on Saturday night‚ will face the Spanish powerhouses in a match that is part of the Nelson Mandela Centenary Celebrations.

"The Premier Soccer League (PSL) received a request from Mamelodi Sundowns to play an international friendly match against FC Barcelona‚" said a PSL statement issued on Monday.

"The League has always followed the same approach in respect of friendly matches in particular when these will (or might) impact the League or Cup competitions.

"This request‚ however‚ was of extraordinary nature in that it formed part of the Madiba Centenary Celebrations.

"Moreover‚ it had direct support from sponsors Nedbank and Government in light of the nature and importance of the event and the part football plays in bringing South Africans together."

This will be the second meeting between the two sides as they clashed at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria in 2007 where a star-studded Barcelona came from a goal down to beat Sundowns 2-1 in front of a full-house.

On that occasion‚ Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard paraded superstars like goalkeeper Victor Valdes‚ midfielder Ronaldinho and strikers Samuel Eto’o and Ludovic Giuly. A young Lionel Messi did not make the trip due to contractual issues.

Sundowns' goal was scored by Surprise Moriri while Barcelona replied through strikes by Santiago Ezquerro and Marc Crosas in the second half.

The match schedule and ticket information for the Sundowns and Barcelona is yet to be announced.

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