Cricket Rugby Soccer Sport news so fresh, its live!

July 17, 2024
Football CAF Champions League DStv Premiership Mamelodi Sundowns MTN8 Nedbank Cup Orlando Pirates

Unrest At Sundowns As Mokwena Faces Uncertain Future

  • July 3, 2024
  • 3 min read
Unrest At Sundowns As Mokwena Faces Uncertain Future

Mamelodi Sundowns appears on the verge of a crisis as players and some technical staff react negatively to the potential departure of coach Rulani Mokwena. News that Mokwena might leave the club has caused distress among players and members at the club close to Sportswire.

The former Chippa United coach was reportedly to be absent during Sundowns’ pre-season training sessions on Monday and Tuesday. Additionally, club analyst Dayle Solomons has seen his contract ends although he was at Chloorkop on Tuesday to have discussions with Sundowns.

This turmoil at Sundowns follows reports of a fractured relationship between Mokwena and sporting director Flemming Berg regarding the radio interview with Mmaskepe Matsobane of Power FM where Mokwena said he doesn’t sign players, despite the club’s recent league title win. Mokwena was also left baffled at the departure of Bongani Zungu, who was released a few days ago.

Those close to Sundowns said to work with Berg has been a nightmare and he is not the right person for the club, and it would be the biggest mistake to let Mokwena go. Sportswire has learnt that it was not Mokwena’s call to sign Matias Esquivel, Marcelo Allende, Lucas Ribeiro and Junior Mendieta but those players grew to love the coach.

Some players have expressed their heartbreak on social media at the prospect of Mokwena’s exit, despite his four-year contract signed last June.

Mokwena led Sundowns to their seventh consecutive DStv Premiership title, playing attractive football and narrowly missing an undefeated season. He also became the first South African coach to reach two consecutive CAF Champions League semi finals, though they lost the most recent one to Esperance.

The 37-year-old coach vowed to win the Champions League with more time, referencing the similar period granted to previous coach Pitso Mosimane before his 2016 triumph. Mosimane, who took over in 2012 when Sundowns were struggling, required four years to deliver the Champions League trophy.

Mokwena’s appointment as head coach came in October 2022 after a heavy defeat to Orlando Pirates in the MTN8 second leg semi-final. This move ended the co-coaching arrangement with Manqoba Mngqithi and Steve Komphela.

The same Pirates team also defeated Sundowns in the MTN8 final and the Nedbank Cup last season. While Sundowns are a dominant force, these losses highlight their vulnerability when opponents deny them control of the game.

Several players and staff have reacted to Sportswire about the rumors of Mokwena’s departure, though Sundowns has yet to make an official statement. Club chairman Tlhopie Motsepe said this past weekend in Durban of the upcoming changes on and off the field, but Mokwena’s potential departure was not anticipated.

About Author

Robin-Duke Madlala

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *