Safa waiting for Mamelodi Sundowns to confirm new Caf Champions League date against CR Belouizdad

Lyle Lakay, Kermit Erasmus & Ricardo Nascimento, Mamelodi Sundowns, December 2020
The Brazilians face a crammed fixture schedule where they have three matches lined-up inside four days

Safa CEO Tebogo Motlanthe says they are waiting for feedback from Mamelodi Sundowns to hear if the Premier Soccer League champions will agree to play their rescheduled Caf Champions League Group B match against CR Belouizdad on Sunday.

Downs face a fixture headache as they also have a Nedbank Cup Last-16 match against Polokwane City lined up for Saturday and their itinerary also includes a league trip to Stellenbosch scheduled for next Tuesday.

It is, however, the Champions League fixture slated for Dar es Salaam holding things up after Caf slotted it in between their domestic matches.

They were initially supposed to play Belouizdad in Algeria this Tuesday before being denied visas.

“One of the issues which we raised with Caf was that when you take your decisions you must know that they [Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs] also have the domestic commitments,” Motlanthe told Marawa Sport Worldwide on Metro FM and Radio 2000.

“What happened with Sundowns is that we got a letter of confirmation late last night [Sunday] and I then had a chat with them and they promised to come back to me which I’m still waiting.

“If they say we are not comfortable [playing on the 28th], they will write to Caf and we will forward it to Caf and support them that there is a domestic fixture because the time frame and logistics will become a problem for them.

“I will be having that discussion again with Yogesh [Singh, legal and commercial manager] from Sundowns and hear how the club is dealing with that. Of course we get updates from them. If they say we are equal to the task we will allow they to continue. But if there are concerns we are here as an association to support them.”

The Algerians already have their Ligue 1 fixture against CA Bordj Bou Arreridj postponed to accommodate travelling to Tanzania to meet Sundowns after the domestic game was initially pencilled in for Friday.

Motlanthe said Sundowns are checking with the PSL on the way forward.

“He [Yogesh] was to check internally and also to check with the league about their fixtures. Remember they were supposed to play the Nedbank Cup game also,” continued Motlanthe.

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“So he was to check if the league agrees to move that game and if it suits their schedule. Then he was to come back to me and tell me whether they will play or not. So I’m waiting for them and as soon as I get that communication we will engage and make a joint submission to Caf.

“They were to consult and check with the league what’s doable and what’s not doable. Now this Covid-19 is used as a weapon and as an association we need to stand up in defence of these teams that are participating in these tournaments so that we avoid the culture of using the Covid-19 situation as a weapon against fair play.”

Downs’ PSL rivals Kaizer Chiefs are also yet to make a public statement on whether they are travelling to Burkina Faso to face Wydad Casablanca in their rescheduled Champions League Group C match.