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Mamelodi Sundowns

Ebola outbreak forces Sundowns to change pre-season plans

5:20 PM WAT 23/07/2019
Wydad Casablanca v Mamelodi Sundowns, April 2019
Masandawana have opted to be on the side of caution and have altered their pre-season travel plans

Mamelodi Sundowns’ pre-season plans have hit a snag after the club were forced to cancel their much-anticipated trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

After spending time in Nelspruit and Botswana preparing for the 2019/20 season, Sundowns were expected to jet off to Lubumbashi, where they would have met Congolese sides Don Bosco and Tout Puissant Mazembe, respectively.

However, due to an outbreak of Ebola in the region, Sundowns’ management have decided against making the trip and have rerouted the team to Zambia, where they will conclude their preparations.

“We are not travelling to Congo anymore due to the outbreak,” Sundowns’ general manager Yogesh Singh told the Daily Sun.

“The team are going to Zambia. We are playing Zanaco tomorrow and are still finalising plans for another opponent for a friendly on Saturday."

The Brazilians coach Pitso Mosimane would have hoped to use the trip to the DRC as preparation for their Caf Champions League adventure.

Sundowns are set to take on Republic of Congo side AS Otoho d’Oyo in their first-round match, but Singh is adamant they are satisfied with team’s planning.

“We have several teams demanding to play against us. The Botswana tour has gone well, and we are happy with the progress as we prepare for the upcoming season,” he continued.

Singh has also explained the reasoning behind making such trips on the continent.

“It’s an important exercise in a lot of ways and not only in terms of Caf travels,” he said.

“The new players are able to adapt to the conditions on the continent and also prepare them mentally. The PSL is also a challenging league and we’ve got to be thoroughly prepared for the season."

Meanwhile, Sundowns are set to begin their domestic campaign on August 3 with a Tshwane Derby against rivals SuperSport United.