A Sundowns legend explains why he ‘understands’ Rulani Mokwena’s sacking

A Mamelodi Sundowns legend sheds light on why he understands the decision to let go of Rulani Mokwena, a move that surprised many in African football.

Despite missing out on CAF Champions League and some domestic trophies in the past two seasons, Sundowns appeared to be thriving under Mokwena's leadership.

They set a handful of DStv Premiership records, won the inaugural African Football League and qualified for the FIFA Club World Cup.

Despite falling short of achieving some of the club’s specific goals, particularly Champions League glory, Mokwena's departure from Sundowns appears to be primarily driven by a strained relationship with sporting director Flemming Berg, rather than a failure to meet his overall mandate.

The club’s legend Roger Feutmba insists the club showed Mokwena the exit door because they want someone who’ll bring Champions League on their table.

WHY ROGER FEUTMBA SAYS HE’S NOT SHOCKED BY MOKWENA’S EXIT

“We have to remember that every team has a target and one of those targets was the CAF Champions League. Rulani has done well according to many people but if the club feels that the mandate was not fulfilled, it’s normal that the club released him,” Feutmba said on Radio 2000 as quoted by The Citizen.

“He has been the coach for two years and he hasn’t won it and only won the league but Sundowns has won the league seven times in a row. The main target for the club I believe was the Champions League so it might be the reason that going forward they have to look at someone else.

“What happened has shocked supporters but these types of things happen everywhere in the world and that is football. They have to understand that the management of Sundowns believe that winning the league is not enough and what they have in resources, they believe that they can go far in the champions league.”

Feutmba added that Mokwena’s beautiful football was nice to watch, however, it has to win the club the most admired trophies.

He says winning a league at Sundowns has become normal and the club wants to dominate the continent.

‘WE WERE PLAYING GOOD FOOTBALL BUT…’

“Remember that Sundowns is a big team and the expectations are high. The mandate at Sundowns is not only the league because everyone can see that they are dominating and they can win the league anytime they want,” Feutmba continued.

“The main target for the past season was the Champions League and even though we were playing good football but that good football has to give you trophies especially the ones that matter most so nothing happened and from the management side, they see that the mandate was not fulfilled.

“People know that Sundowns will 70% win the league but people must not forget that Sundowns want to dominate in Africa by winning the Champions League and if that was the mandate given to him at the beginning of the season, it’s normal that management will feel let’s look at somebody else.” 

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Nkosiyabuya Sithole

Nkosiyabuya Sithole, a young and rising sports journalist based in Durban, South Africa, harbors a deep passion for football. Nevertheless, he aspires to become a well-rounded journalist, adept in various areas of the field.

Nkosi's career began in 2020, working as a home-based writer during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has since written for various websites, including Briefly News, FiND-iT News, and The South African. Attending live sporting events is a particular pleasure for him, as they provide opportunities for interaction with sports personalities.

Outside of the office, he's a God-fearing and affable young man.