Pitso Mosimane

New revelations in court suggest that the blockbuster offer from Al Ahly might not have been the only factor in Pitso Mosimane’s departure from Mamelodi Sundowns, despite the unexpected nature of his 2020 move to the Egyptian giants.

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Sundowns are seeking to recover a portion of the R8.6 million in agent fees paid when Mosimane signed a new four-year contract at the end of the 2019/2020 season, leading to a court battle with his representative, MT Sports.

Testimony from Mosimane’s manager, Moira Tlhagale, paints a picture of a growing rift between the coach and Sundowns management, indicating that Mosimane was poised to leave even before the Ahly opportunity arose.

According to SABC Sport, Tlhagale, who is also Mosimane’s wife, detailed the reasons behind the coach’s decision. A major point of contention was a demand by Sundowns that Mosimane apologise for critical media comments made after leading the team to a historic fifth league title and third in a row.

Recounting events in court as detailed by the state broadcaster, Tlhagale described a meeting at African Rainbow Minerals offices. Sundowns president, now CAF president, Dr Patrice Motsepe expressed concern about tensions between the coach and the club.

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“The president highlighted that he wanted to protect the relationship between the families [Motsepe and Mosimane] and that an apology from the coach was important,” stated Tlhagale, as quoted by SABC Sport.

“My lady, for me, it became clear that the president was referring to the comments the coach made…from his point of view, he expected the coach to make an apology on the statements, to which the coach then said no.”

The controversial comments in question were reportedly Mosimane’s claim that “There were people within the club that didn’t want me to win the league title.”

Tlhagale revealed that Mosimane was unwilling to apologise, leading him to request his release from Downs. She further testified that the tense meeting with Motsepe occurred just days before the official offer from Al Ahly arrived.

“I must say, my lady, that the president was taken aback by the decision of the coach, that if he did not get released by the club, he was ready to walk away regardless,” said Tlhagale.

The case will resume on 3 June 2024, with Mosimane himself expected to testify.

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