The South African Football Coaches Association (SAFCA) and the EFF have condemned the harassment Al Ahly Coach Pitso Mosimane was subjected to from an angry group of Mamelodi Sundowns supporters.
Ahead of Mamelodi Sundowns and the Egyptian giants’ CAF Champions League clash at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday, a group of angry supporters donned in Sundowns regalia were seen blocking Al Ahly’s bus with placards displaying expletives directed at Mosimane.
In a statement released on Sunday morning, SAFCA has described the behaviour as “uncalled for, inhumane, shameful and must never be tolerated.”
“The attack was not just an attack on Mosimane and his club, but it was also an attack on the coaching profession in its entirety and we cannot have a situation where the safety of our esteemed technicians and players is compromised,” says SAFCA President, Greg Mashilo.
“But furthermore, the attack was also an attack on the image of football in the country. It is for this reason that we make a call for all those who can be identified to be brought to book and be banned from the game as a matter of urgency. Failure to do so would run the risk of condoning hooliganism in what is known as the beautiful game.”
The EFF has called on CAF and SAFA to fine Mamelodi Sundowns.
“The EFF calls on the CAF and SAFA to fine Mamelodi Sundowns and those fans to be fine and handed punishments for the incidents that took place in order to this kind of hooliganism and unsportsmanlike behaviour,” says the party in a statement.
“Moreover, we cannot afford to wait for individuals to be physically harmed before decisive action is taken.”
The party says it will also write to both CAF and SAFA.
EFF Condemns Actions Against Coach Pitso Mosimane By Mamelodi Sundowns Fans pic.twitter.com/qq0AhOG90l
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) May 23, 2021
Sundowns proceeded to play to an 1-all draw, which saw their participation in the CAF Champions League come to a screeching halt and Al Ahly advance to the semifinals of the tournament where they will face Espérance Sportive de Tunis.
Sundowns have also released a statement condemning the incident and apologising to “Al Ahly and those associated with the club.”
Mamelodi Sundowns observed behavior and conduct from some of its supporters before its match with Al Ahly which is unacceptable, improper and does not reflect the integrity, respect, compassion, and other values that we uphold.
Full Statement: https://t.co/vbx9DDzVVm#Sundowns pic.twitter.com/WjnnOjjvwz
— Mamelodi Sundowns FC (@Masandawana) May 23, 2021
However, Sundowns’ apology immediately got social media abuzz with many questioning why the club did not directly mention their former coach in the statement since he was the primary target of their supporters’ behaviour, instead choosing to apologise to the club.
I REJECT that NONSENSE of a statement, Those hooligans disrespected PITSO more than AHLY, you choose not to mention PITSO and you did that on purpose coz you are still pushing the agenda against PITSO, The people who wrote that crap are the ones who pushed him away, its clear.
— Mzwandile Magwaza (@mzwaMGZ) May 23, 2021
It is now clear You are not apologizing because you see anything wrong with such thuggish behavior our former coach. In fact you are just succumbing to social media pressure, it is clear you share the same sentiments on those plug cards. Shame on you???.
— Ayanda Z Makabane (@comrade_Fire18) May 23, 2021