Pitso not pleased with CAF rules

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane.
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane.
Image: Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has bemoaned the chopping and changing of the rules by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) that now forces the team to play in the preliminary round of the Champions League.

After having reached the Champions League semifinals last season, Downs thought they would automatically get a first-round bye.

The Brazilians were knocked out at the last-four stage after losing to Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca. However, the African football body recently altered its regulations and only three of the four semifinalists skip the opening round.

"CAF does not have a consistent policy. In the European Champions League you know where you stand," cried Mosimane.

"Last year was different to this year. Now they say they take three teams that played in the semifinals instead of four. Last year it was another format. The other time we didn't play the preliminary. So it would be nice if CAF have a principle."

The 2016 champions will take on Congolese club Otoho d'Oyo FC away in the first leg. The match will be played at Stade Omnisport Marien Ngouabi in Owando, Congo Brazaville, on Sunday (3.30pm SA time) and the second leg is set for August 23 in Pretoria. For the away trip, Downs are chartering a plane.

"They are a typical Champions League team. The conditions are not that favourable. Their pitch is not flat but we are not complaining," he said.

"The minute you start complaining about the distance, the pitch, the hotel and mosquitoes then you have lost the match.

"We just have to get on with the game. If it's difficult away then get a draw and it would be nice to get a draw with a goal."

Next year will mark 50 years since Sundowns officially became a football club in 1970. The former Bafana boss admits that there is pressure for the club to celebrate their golden anniversary in style

"There is pressure from the fans and from the board to win the Champions League again. There is pressure to win the la decima [10th league title]."

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