JOHANNESBURG - Pitso Mosimane would prefer his Mamelodi Sundowns to avoid being drawn with TP Mazembe in the group stage of the Caf Champions League.
The Brazilians qualified for the group stage of the continent's premier club competition for the third year in a row by beating Rayon Sports of Rwanda 2-0 on aggregate. Sundowns will find out who they will be grouped with on Wednesday in the draw that will be conducted in Cairo.
The Tshwane side will be among the seeded teams as winners of the 2016 Champions League and quarterfinalists last year. Mazembe will be unseeded after failing to making it to the group stage of the Champions League last year. But they made up for that disappointment by going all the way in the Caf Confederation Cup and beating Sundowns’ neighbours, SuperSport United in the final.
ES Setif (Algeria), MC Alger (Algeria), Township Rollers (Botswana), Primeiro de Agosto (Angola), Mazembe (DRC), Al-Ahly (Egypt), Horoya (Guinea), Difaâ Hassani d'el-Jadida (Morocco), Wydad Casablanca (Morocco), Mbabane Swallows (Swaziland), AS Togo-Sport (Togo), Esperance (Tunisia), Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia), Kampala Capital City Authority (Uganda) and Zesco United (Zambia) have all made it to the group stage along with Sundowns.
“The challenge in the teams that have qualified for the group stage is Mazembe,” Mosimane said. “Nobody wants Mazembe around because they are not seeded. We don’t want them in our group. Let them go somewhere else. It’s interesting.
"The Champions League is beautiful. Let’s watch a different brand of football. This is good for my boys to gain experience. Let’s avoid Mazembe. I don’t want them in my group. If we have two big giants there anything can happen.
"Mazembe can go with Esperance or Al-Ahly. They must go there. Go with Wydad. We don’t want them. They must move away from us. We would be lucky to avoid them.”