Mugging kept Pelembe out of the game
Elias Pelembe did not sit out Mamelodi Sundowns' 1-0 defeat to Platinum Stars because of his alleged ongoing tiff with coach Johan Neeskens - the winger was mugged at his house three days before the Premiership clash.
Pelembe, who started in Downs' 2-0 loss to Moroka Swallows just over a week ago, asked to be left out of the squad that was booed off the pitch on Saturday night after another poor result, the club's fifth defeat of the season after seven matches.
The player said he was still traumatised by the assault, having been robbed of a large sum of money and team mate Clayton Daniels' car.
Sundowns officials confirmed that Daniels' vehicle had since been recovered.
The coach also further dismissed reports that he had not played Pelembe in previous matches because they did not get along.
"He is fit and ready to play, but for this game [on Saturday against Platinum Stars] he asked for leave to deal with a personal tragedy," Neeskens said after the match.
Pelembe has himself denied the suspected rift with the coach in the past, saying he was happy with Neeskens' rotation system because Sundowns had a big squad.
He joined the Mozambique national team yesterday ahead of their crucial second leg 2013 Nations Cup qualifier against Morocco on Saturday in Casablanca. They have a 2-0 lead from the first leg that was played in Maputo.
Mozambique need at least a draw to qualify for the tournament in South Africa from January 19 to February 10.
Pelembe enjoys more game time with the national team than he does at Sundowns.