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Sundowns owner attends first game of season to see problems at first hand

Patrice Motsepe went to see disgruntled fans after Mamelodi Sundowns lost again at the weekend but tight security kept supporters from venting their grievances.

Motsepe, surrounded by a phalanx of bodyguards, ventured out into the streets surrounding the Atteridgeville Stadium after being told fans wanted to talk to him. However when he got outside he found no one there.

The billionaire Sundowns owner, who has spent millions trying to win the league championship, attended his first match of the season but his presence did little to spark Sundowns to end their winless streak.

Instead the club suffered another defeat after which they were cloistered in their change room with Motsepe for some 10 minutes after the game.

Then, after his departure, there was another lengthy crisis meeting between players and the beleaguered coach Johan Neeskens.

Sundowns might have lost again at the weekend to plunge the club into the darkest crisis since the early 1980s but there was no repetition of the previous scenes that had seen the coach assaulted by fans and having to be protected by police.

On Saturday the club ran a tight security operation, creating a perimeter around the stadium, searching cars and checking credentials.

The atmosphere in the stadium was also muted with potential troublemakers dissuaded by the decision last week to prosecute those who had caused damage at the Dobsonville Stadium when Sundowns lost to Moroka Swallows.

Sundowns share bottom place in the Premier Soccer League standings with AmaZulu, having a single win in their first seven games of the season.

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