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How PSL Can Help SA Giants In CAFCL – Modise

The Premier Soccer League can do more to support the likes of Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates in CAF inter-club competitions and attract more clubs in the league to want to qualify for the tournaments, according to PSL legend Teko Modise.

After Sundowns fell short at the semi-final of the CAF Champions League for a second consecutive season, the discussion has opened of where Sundowns can improve to end their wait for a second star since 2016.

“The most difficult games [in football] are the semi-finals because they are so tough, exhausting that the final becomes easier, once you jump that, once you get into the final, you can easily win it,” Modise said.

“The difficulty is the semi-final, but also, if we really want to have… South African teams winning Champions, how then do we support them? If you want Orlando Pirates to do well in continental football, if you want Sundowns to do well in continental football, you need to have space and room for them to do so.”

SuperSport United and Sekhukhune United were knocked out the group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup, often fielding weakened starting XIs during a gruelling scheduling and travelling distances for the competition.

While Pirates lost out on a place in the group stages of Africa’s elite club competition on penalties to Jwnaneg Galaxy with their two-legged preliminary tie between games against Sundowns, MTN8 semi-final against Stellenbosch over a 12 day period.

Jose Riveiro head coach of Orlando Pirates during the CAF Champions League 2023/24 match between Orlando Pirates and Jwaneng Galaxy at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on the 29 September 2023 © Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

“You can’t be playing back-to-back, land here, two days later, play and then no rest and then play, it doesn’t help South African football, it doesn’t help those teams who are participating in those,” he continued.

“It’s also having negative connotations towards teams who want to compete in that stage, you look at the schedule and the leniency you getting from the PSL, maybe if those things get sorted out you will see those things doing well in the continental space.

“They will have the opportunity to rest and be focused on it. Look at Esperance, they came here with seven days rest before playing Sundowns, and Sundowns had two days before they played – whether the players played or not – it’s just the effort or work they put in.

“The analysis is just the game – I just think with us and the trajectory that we have right now as South Africans, especially from the football side, I think if we give teams space to perform well, you will have many others who want to perform in that space.”

Rhulani Mokwena, head coach of Mamelodi Sundowns during the CAF Champions League 2023/24 Semifinals 2nd leg match between Memelodi Sundowns and Esperance Tunis at the Loftus Stadium, Johannesburg on the 26 April 2024 ©Phakamisa Lensman/BackpagePix
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.