Downs had to let Mokwena go – Feutmba

A trusted legend of Mamelodi Sundowns says the team did well by releasing Rulani Mokwena as head coach. | BackpagePix

A trusted legend of Mamelodi Sundowns says the team did well by releasing Rulani Mokwena as head coach. | BackpagePix

Published Jul 5, 2024


Mamelodi Sundowns legend Roger Feutmba has reacted to the club’s decision to dismiss head coach Rulani Mokwena.

The Chloorkop-based club announced their decision to part with the 37-year-old tactician and cited his failure to meet intended targets and goals as their reason to remove him from his post.

“The decision of Mamelodi Sundowns was taken by the board taking into account the objectives and expectations of the club and was not influenced or based on the recommendation of any individual associated with the club,” the club’s statement said.

Mokwena took over as coach last season when the board saw it fit to let him take full control rather than employing the co-coaching setup they had him in alongside Manqoba Mnqgithi, who now serves as the ‘senior coach’.

During his stint as sole head coach Mokwena oversaw 91 games, winning 60, drawing 22 and losing nine, while collecting two DStv Premiership titles as well as an African Football League (AFL) trophy.

However, his failure to help the club capture a second CAF Champions League title is said to be the main reason behind Sundowns’ decision to release him.

Feutmba, who won three successive league titles with Sundowns and helped the team reach the Champions League final in 2000 as a player, backed the club’s decision to seek a new successor despite his admiration for Mokwena’s style of play.

“You can play all the fancy and entertaining football you want but at Mamelodi Sundowns you need trophies,” he told Independent Newspapers.

“Sundowns is a big team and big teams have mandates in place, the mandate now is to win the Champions League and dominate the African continent and they also gave him the resources to be able to achieve that mandate.”

He added: “This is a big institution, Sundowns has won the league seven times in a row now (its significance isn’t as serious as that of the Champions League) but he also didn’t win the MTN8 and Nedbank Cup as well.”

Since news of Mokwena’s exit from the Brazilians broke, information regarding his ‘dysfunctional’ relationship with club sporting director Flemming Berg also came to light, which raised suggestions that he might have had a hand in the final decision.

When quizzed about whether he feels sporting directors at any club should have significantly more power on recruitment than the head coaches, Feutmba expressed that the role in its nature suggests that technical / sporting directors should control the operations around the team in line with the club’s ambitions.

“The football club will always define the vision of the club. I remember when I retired, Mr (Patrice) Motsepe was already involved in the club, he even came to training sessions,” he stated.

“He always said his vision would be carried out by the people around the team and in this case the sporting director is the boss of the technical team and he has the mandate of the club at the forefront of his decision-making.”

Rumours of Mokwena going to north Africa have re-surfaced.

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