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Mamelodi Sundowns Coach Speaks Out on SA Football's Waning Charm

Published January 01, 2024
7 months ago

The passion and fervor that South African football historically ignites is seemingly under threat, as one of the most distinguished voices in the local game speaks out on troubling issues plaguing the sport. Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena provided a solemn reflection on the current state of football affairs in South Africa, revealing a deep-seated frustration that has been detrimental to his affection for the game.

Mokwena's comments came in the aftermath of a goalless skirmish against Polokwane City—capping off a busy year with Sundowns’ 60th match. The Premier Soccer League (PSL) is now bracing for a six-week intermission, accommodating the Africa Cup of Nations and leaving Mokwena to ruminate on the distressing occurrences that have unfolded throughout the season.

One poignant source of Mokwena’s angst could be traced back to an incident where Sundowns were scheduled to face Moroka Swallows, only to find the adversary absent due to a player strike—a situation that adds to the mounting concerns regarding the viability and governance of football institutions in South Africa.

The tactician's disenchantment was further fueled by what he perceived as subpar adjudicating, with the referee's decisions in the recent draw prompting a vehement, albeit careful critique. The nixed goal against Polokwane City marked yet another point of contention, triggering discussions about the standards of football regulation and the integrity of the sport's local administration.

These moments epitomize the challenges faced in the South African football landscape, testing the mettle of even the most tenacious figures. The events have inexorably led to a reckoning, with Mokwena questioning his own place and purpose within the footballing fraternity.

Despite these adversities, Sundowns maintained an unbeaten record, sustaining a lead in the Premiership. This silver lining, however, has been overshadowed by the broader discourse necessitated by Mokwena's revelations.

As the team braces for the return of football action on February 14, facing Lamontville Golden Arrows, all eyes will be on the league’s reaction to these serious concerns. The football community will be watching keenly for measures to address the issues and protect the essence of the South African game, a task that must be undertaken with diligence and unwavering dedication.

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