KickOff.com can reveal that Mamelodi Sundowns’ re-entry into the CAF Champions League via the back door could cost them upwards of R9-million and heavy legs later this year.
The Brazilians are back in the top-tier of African club competition after being drawn in Group B of the group stage alongside Zamalek, Enyimba and ES Setif.
READ: The lowdown on Sundowns’ CAF opponents
Coach Pitso Mosimane has long championed the cause for PSL teams to participate and do well in Africa to try to emulate Orlando Pirates, and they should be praised for being competive this year – both times they were knocked out they only lost on away-goals.
Mosimane has talked about how Sundowns are “paying their school fees” as “babies” in African competition, and their latest return to the classroom could be seen as a bursary from CAF at AS Vita’s expense.
Yet playing in Africa really comes at a huge cost both physically and financially for PSL clubs, and will be more so for Sundowns now that they have been pitted against North African sides.
The hangover from Pirates’ exceptional continental exertions in recent seasons is still evident to this day as their domestic struggles continue, and Mosimane has consistently praised the Buccaneers for their efforts. Bucs coach Eric Tinkler has also tried to explain time and again how difficult it is to travel and compete in Africa.
In fact, should Sundowns get to the final on their third chance this year, it is likely the cost of their revived campaign could totally wipe out the R10-million prize money they will receive for winning the league.
And now KICK OFF magazine has exclusive information and detailed financial figures that reveal the actual costs of CAF ambition, based primarily on Pirates’ run in recent African competitions, with revelations from Bidvest Wits and Ajax Cape Town bosses.
Read our researched and revealing, in-depth story in the new edition of KICK OFF, which is on sale now, for the true reasons PSL club bosses appear reluctant to go into Africa