Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/DUIF DU TOIT
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/DUIF DU TOIT

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has responded to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) #SafeHands Challenge‚ asking all 16 Premier Soccer League (PSL) coaches to do the same‚ and cheekily also adding PSL prosecutor Nande Becker.

The WHO’s safe hands challenge is a social media initiative aimed at raising awareness about washing hands — the most effective counter to the coronavirus pandemic‚ which has reached more than 180‚000 confirmed cases worldwide. The aim is for celebrities and ordinary people to post videos of themselves washing their hands.

With the PSL suspending this week’s Premiership matches in response to the coronavirus outbreak — including Sundowns against Orlando Pirates on Tuesday night — Mosimane responded to the WHO challenge on Twitter. He accompanied his video on Monday with the tweet: “#COVID19 I am happy to respond to the @WHO’s #SafeHands Challenge. I challenge all the PSL club coaches and Nande Becker!”

The Sundowns’ coach has had running public spats with Becker‚ who Mosimane has said appears to time disciplinary cases against the Brazilians at the end of a season‚ when Downs are invariably challenging for the title. Mosimane even hinted at such an assertion on Saturday‚ after his team’s 1-0 Nedbank Challenge win against Highlands Park in extra time.

Downs forward Gaston Sirino has been found guilty by a disciplinary committee of assaulting Dean Furman and Clayton Daniels in an MTN8 match against SuperSport United in September‚ but has not been sentenced yet.

Mosimane was asked to explain his confidence in an assertion that he guaranteed Sundowns — chasing Kaizer Chiefs in the Premiership race — would win their last five league matches.

“It’s the mind. And we have the players. But we might not have Sirino‚” the Downs’ coach responded. “And you know when these things come. The last four games‚ then it’s there. Why doesn’t it happen sooner? It’s waiting. We will see — it will come.”

Asked to elaborate‚ the coach said: “I don’t know what Nande Becker wants to do. I don’t want to be in trouble. Let’s leave it to Nande Becker. I still think we can do something even if Sirino is not there.”

Becker and the PSL might find Mosimane’s Twitter poke at the prosecutor cheeky. But if promoting the WHO’s message of washing hands was the objective‚ Mosimane’s manner of conveying it with his characteristic touch of audacity would seem to have achieved the aim of reaching a wider audience.

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