JOHANNESBURG – The question around Mamelodi Sundowns hosting Spanish giants Barcelona in a friendly match next week still hangs in the air.
But the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Tuesday confirmed it has also granted the Brazilians permission to reschedule their Champions League match against Horoya.
Sundowns, who would have travelled to Conakry in Guinea for their second group stage match, have announced they will instead face the newly crowned La Liga champions at FNB Stadium next Wednesday.
CAF were only happy to allow them to postpone their fixture to May 22 – but at a cost, as seen in a letter from the continental football governing body to Safa chief executive Dennis Mumble on Monday.
Anthony Baffoe, the CAF deputy secretary general, wrote to Mumble regarding the Sundowns matter and stated that the Brazilians would, however, have to pay around R125 000 for production costs.
The shifting of the Champions League clash means flight tickets and TV production will be affected, and the amount should then be “deducted from Sundowns’ revenue”.
Still no confirmation from @FCBarcelona about the Sundowns match next week. But @CAF_Online say everything is above board, but Downs have to pay for shifting the Champions League game. pic.twitter.com/r25QDKiLk0
There is still uncertainty surrounding the game, given that Barcelona are still yet to confirm their trip to South Africa next week, although the club were apparently expected to make the announcement on Monday – a day after their La Liga clash against Real Madrid at Camp Nou.
Both Safa president Danny Jordaan and Sundowns owner Patrice Motsepe attended El Clasico on Sunday night, with the idea of firming up the relationship and discussing details of hosting Barcelona as part of the Nelson Mandela Centenary celebrations.
There has been no word from Spain about the match.
Motsepe made the announcement on national radio on Friday night and is believed to be spending R100 million – through the Motsepe Foundation – to guarantee the match billed “Champions versus Champions” takes place.
Sundowns were crowed Premiership winners nearly two weeks ago, their eighth in the PSL era.
The PSL has also said it has given Sundowns permission to host Barcelona, but there has been no information about logistics or tickets sales.