Pitso – I don’t want to ‘talk about black coach’

Al Ahly haead coach Pitso Mosimane.
Al Ahly haead coach Pitso Mosimane.
Image: Al Ahly/Twitter

Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane has said he does not want to “talk about black coach”‚ as he regards himself as an international football manager.

Mosimane broke new ground becoming the first black sub-Saharan African coach to take charge of Ahly in early October‚ when he dramatically left Mamelodi Sundowns to join the Red Devils.

In the space of two months Mosimane steered the team past Wydad Casablanca 5-1 in the Caf Champions League semifinals‚ and bitter Cairo rivals Zamalek 2-1 in Friday night’s final‚ and has drawn one and won three in the already-clinched Egyptian Premier League.

He also steered Ahly past Abou Qir Fertilizers SC and then Al Ittihad in the Egyptian Cup quarter and semifinals‚ where Mosimane’s team could wrap up a treble if they beat El Gaish in Alexandria on Saturday.

Mosimane said‚ while he’s happy if he has broken ground for black African coaches joining Ahly‚ and wants to continue doing so with success at the club‚ he prefers not to be pigeon-holed by the colour of his skin.

“I’m humbled if there is a trigger‚ or I might be a part of a catalyst for change for our local coaches‚” Ahly’s coach told a digital press conference of the SA Football Journalists’ Association.

“I don’t want to talk about ‘black coach’. I’m not playing the race card‚ but I just feel I’m an international coach‚ and I think I’m an African coach.

“I don’t look at it as white coach or black coach‚ I look at it as being an African coach. I’m an international coach. I’ve been an international coach since I’ve been at Bafana Bafana.

“So I’m humbled at what is being said about the impact. Ja‚ thank God‚ it’s about time.

“And I’ve always spoken about it that we can do something here‚ and we can show what South Africa is about.

“And thanks to the PSL for giving me an opportunity. Thanks to Mamelodi Sundowns‚ thanks to all the teams in there‚ that I could really sharpen the saw‚ and really test what we are now doing outside.

“It’s the PSL. And thanks to Dr [Irvin] Khoza [PSL chairman]. I mean‚ the chairman even gave me an award. So thanks to everything.

“That’s why I always say the PSL is one of the strongest on the continent‚ and it really sharpened me.”

Mosimane joined Ahly after winning 11 trophies‚ including five Premiership titles and the 2016 Champions League‚ with Sundowns in eight years.

The coach stands on the verge of history. He wrapped up a treble with Sundowns as the Covid-19 interrupted SA 2019-20 season ended earlier than Egypt’s in early September‚ of the Telkom Knockout‚ Nedbank Cup and league.

In Egypt he has collected a league winners medal – though that title was beyond doubt when he joined – and the Caf Champions League. Ahly would also wrap up a 2019-20 treble if they beat El Gaish‚ and then can win the Caf Super Cup if they beat Morocco’s RSB Berkane at Cairo International Stadium on Thursday‚ December 10.