In a statement, the PSL said the reason it granted Sundowns the permission to play the Spanish giants was because the “request, however, was of extraordinary nature in that it formed part of the Nelson Mandela centenary celebrations”.
“The Premier Soccer League [PSL] received a request from Mamelodi Sundowns to play an international friendly match against FC Barcelona,” read a PSL statement.
“The match has been arranged to form part of the Nelson Mandela Centenary Celebrations.
“The League has always followed the same approach in respect of friendly matches in particular when these will [or might] impact the League or cup competitions.
“This request, however, was of extraordinary nature in that it formed part of the Madiba centenary celebrations.
“Moreover, it had both direct support both of sponsors Nedbank and government in light of the nature and importance of the event and the part football plays in bringing South Africans together.
“The executive committee of the league granted the requested subject to compliance with all of the relevant requirements of Caf and Fifa, and also on the express basis that Mamelodi Sundowns will comply fully with every requirement of SASREA.”
The Brazilians are set to host Barcelona at the FNB Stadium on May 16.