After allegations by Orlando Pirates of poor treatment from Simba SC in Tanzania last weekend, Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi says his club has earned respect on the continent and they are treated well on their travels.
Pirates coach Mandla Ncikazi went on a tirade after they lost 1-0 to Simba SC in the first leg of the Caf Confederation Cup quarterfinal clash at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Sunday. The second leg is at Orlando Stadium on Sunday.
Ncikazi said Bucs were treated “like animals” and also disputed the decision on the penalty from which Shomari Kapombe scored in the 68th minute.
Simba SC CEO Barbara Gonzalez replied with a strongly worded statement, saying Ncikazi’s remarks were “defamatory, unprofessional, unethical and distasteful”.
As Sundowns prepare for their own big quarterfinal second leg, in the Caf Champions League against Petro Atletico at FNB Stadium on Saturday (Petro won 2-1 in Angola), Mngqithi did not want to delve into the details of what might have happened to Pirates in Tanzania. He said, however, the Brazilians receive fair treatment and also plan for their continental trips with precision.
“I would not want to dwell much on what coach Mandla [Ncikazi] said because I don’t know their experiences and what happened to them in Tanzania. With us it is a bit different — in the past there was a lot of such bad treatment but it was mind games more than anything else,” Mngqithi said.
“Sundowns have earned a lot of respect on the continent and we are treated fairly well. We are supported in these countries and I will not really complain about anything that much except for a few things like training pitches and the bus [provided by the opposition], but we usually organise that ourselves to make sure that we don’t get any surprises.”
Mngqithi said Sundowns sends club officials to the venues ahead of matches to finalise logistics and find the best possible facilities.
“We send an advance team to make sure they prepare everything in terms of finding training pitches, buses, the hotel and other logistics.
“This is to make sure that we set our standards in the country that we are going to and we don’t rely only on our hosts. In some instances, you will find that the training pitch that you are given is of very poor quality. And when you are already there you can’t do much about it.
“When our advance team sees the training pitch and realises it is not good enough, they get another one privately, and it is the same with the bus. In Africa they like to use a lot of these smaller buses called ‘coasters’ and sometimes it is too small to accommodate your contingent.
“In cases like that, you get a proper bus. These are some of your responsibilities. The hotel is your responsibility because in the past the team hosting you organised the hotel and transport for you, but that was a bit bad because they would organise a hotel where they know you will have issues.
“As to what happened to Pirates, I would really not know what happened and I would not want to comment on something I don’t know.”
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