Pitso Mosimane was left visibly stunned after his players walked straight into the dressing room after receiving the Yelo League trophy, instead of celebrating with the technical team.
The bizarre scenes appeared after Al Ahli drew 0-0 with Al-Hazem in their final Yelo League encounter, when the Al Ahli players refused to celebrate and walked off the pitch.
Many onlookers and neutrals were left equally surprised as Mosimane, who visibly riled up and later stated he doesn’t know what happened.
Some have seen it as disrespectful to the Saudi Arabian First Division, but club president Walid Moaz explained that they don’t view winning the First Division as a success.
“We participated in this league in an exceptional circumstance but thanks to God, in the end we returned to our normal place,” he told Saudi TV, as per Reuters.
“It is clear in history where Al-Ahli’s natural place is [in the Saudi Pro League] and for this reason, unfortunately, they are unable to be happy. We got this request and we respected our fans’ opinions.”
Al Ahli, who are widely regarded as Saudi Arabia’s most successful club, were relegated for the first time in their history last season.
Mosimane found the club in seventh place in September but led them back to Saudi Pro League with four games to spare and also won the league title on the penultimate day of the season.
However, there are question marks over his future after Moaz cryptically stated “the ambition is greater” when asked about Mosimane’s future recently. He also said the club would make a decision on the coach’s future after the final league game.
Earlier in May, reports in Arabian media stated that the club won’t activate an option in Mosimane’s contract and are looking for an European coach to lead them in the 2023/24 season.
Mosimane, though, stated on Monday night that his one-year option was automatically activated after he promoted the team to the Roshn Saudi League.