Pitso Mosimane celebrates after beating Zamalek in Egypt to win the Caf Champions League last year. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
JOHANNESBURG - With Platinum Stars a shadow of the side that finished in third place last season, and SuperSport United’s title chances hanging by the thinnest of threads in the few Premier League games that remain, Pitso Mosimane, the Mamelodi Sundowns coach, has urged the two clubs to look to continental glory for solace.

All three clubs are in the group stages of two different CAF competitions - Stars and SuperSport in the Confederation Cup, while Downs are in the more prestigious Champions League - and will know their respective opponents when the draw is conducted in Cairo tomorrow.

“There’s a lot of money now,” said Mosimane. Indeed there is. A new partnership struck between motherbody CAF and gas company TOTAL recently means prize money in all competitions received a massive boost.

Just for their participation in the group stages, both Dikwena and Matstsantsa have bagged a cool R3.6-million, while Sundowns, the reigning African champions, are guaranteed R7.1-million. And there is more where that came from if the South African teams finish higher up their groups or progress to the next phase of the tournament.

Mosimane wants them to embrace the challenge, and gave a convincing argument why it’s to their benefit to join the continental party.

“It’s unbelievable that you get that much money just for one match,” the coach explained. “The spin offs are big. Why do you want to fight 30 league games and win R10-million (league title prize money)? 

"Just go to Japan (where Downs took part in the Fifa Club World Cup by virtue of being crowned Champions League winners) and you will see how much you get. You play one or two matches and you get more than what you get for the league. Football has changed and evolved. Here we need to look at things properly, but we complain about the hotels and the pitches.”

With his experience, Mosimane will be on hand to offer tips to counterparts Cavin Johnson at Stars and SuperSport’s Stuart Baxter.

“If you want to play in the Champions League you can’t complain about being in transit. You should be prepared to wait in the sun after landing instead of arriving at a nice Cape Town airport after a two-hour flight and the nice bus is already there,” the Downs coach explained. 

“We have people who want to play in the World Cup, but it doesn’t come easy. At Sundowns we are ready, and I am happy that we will be getting our injured players - Tiyani Mabunda, Sibusiso Vilakazi and Wayne Arendse - back. We are getting stronger towards fighting to retain our title. We are grinding it now with the young ones, which shows experience.”

Dikwena and SuperSport are also poised to be a lot stronger when the group stages kick off later in May, with several players returning from injury and the domestic season rolling down.


The Star

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