PSL to accommodate Sundowns' Champions League commitments
The Premier Soccer League (PSL) will postpone Mamelodi Sundowns' Nedbank Cup Last 16 match against Polokwane City on Saturday to accommodate the Brazilians' rearranged Caf Champions League obligations.
Sundowns' Champions League Group B match against Algeria side CR Belouizdad will now be played in Tanzania on Sunday after Confederation of African Football's belated intervention and the last-minute change clashed with the Brazilians' domestic commitments in the Nedbank Cup.
Acting PSL CEO Mato Madlala told TimesLIVE that Sundowns are trying to move their game against the Algerians from Sunday to Saturday as they have a DStv Premiership fixture away to Stellenbosch FC on Tuesday.
“Sundowns are still talking to the (Confederation of African Football) about arranging their game [against Belouizda] to be played on Saturday‚” Madlala said on Wednesday.
“So that brings a different dimension to their games‚ because they have a [domestic league] game on Tuesday against Stellenbosch."
"Sundowns were supposed to play on Sunday against Belouzidad but Tanzania [does not always] have times in which they have flights.
“They don’t fly everyday‚ so there are a lot of logistical matters being sorted out.
"So it’s not just a clear case of yes or no (on the postponement)‚ starting with the club trying to change the date.
“We’re giving Sundowns time to see whether they’ll succeed or not. But as the PSL we don’t have any issues with postponing their match against Polokwane and we’re constantly talking to Sundowns.
“There’s no fight (between the PSL and Sundowns).
"If they must play a Caf game they must play. If the club says ‘wait for us this is what we’re still discussing’ we have to wait because when we postpone we must then fixture again."
Sundowns had to cancel their original trip for their game against CR Belouizdad on Thursday last week‚ as the club was leaving for OR International airport‚ after the Algerian authorities initially granted visas.
The Brazilians were told on Thursday that the situation had changed due to “further medical restrictions”.
The Brazilians remained in limbo for several days and the Algerians only sprung into action after they were given a belated ultimatum by Caf to find an alternative venue by Monday at midnight or face a 2-0 walkover.
“We support Sundowns in wanting to change their Caf match to Saturday because that will help us in finding dates for them to catch up on their PSL fixtures‚" Madlala said.
“Sundowns were supposed to play Maritzburg (on Wednesday)‚ there is this Stellenbosch game and there’s a Swallows game after that.
“So there are so many problems that are there and we’re just waiting for them to finalise this issue (with Caf).”
Sundowns’ general manager Yogesh Singh could not be reached for comment.
Kaizer Chiefs are also finalising plans to travel to Burkina Faso to play against Wydad Casablanca in a Champions League game that was postponed several times.
Chiefs‚ who played to a 0-0 draw against Horoya AC at the FNB Stadium on Tuesday night‚ are set to meet Wydad on Sunday.
The club's communications manager Vina Maphosa said their travel plans would be revealed later on Wednesday.