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By Katlego Modiba

Football Journalist

Mokwena defends Sundowns’ Bafana players using private jet

'This is done all over the world, in fact what teams are doing is that they collaborate,' said the Sundowns head coach.

Such is Mamelodi Sundowns’ planning and resources that they chartered a private plane for their contingent of Bafana Bafana players to link up with the rest of the team in Tanzania following the FIFA break.

That was for the first leg of the away Caf Champions League quarterfinal tie against Young Africans in Dar es Salaam where the Brazilians needed all their big stars for the big match.

According to privatefly.com, prices range from 44 930 euros, which amounts to over R911 000. Rulani Mokwena has responded to the perception that hiring a private jet to fly their players from Algeria further highlights the difference in financial power the club has over PSL rivals.

“This is done all over the world, in fact what teams are doing is that they collaborate. You find Manchester City’s South American players on the same flight as Liverpool’s South American players,” he said.

“They collaborate in chartered flights and private transportation that gets them as quickly back to their clubs as possible because preparation time is so important. With such a limited turnover time, you have to look for these types of means.”

Sundowns ‘gives so much support to the players’

The Brazilians coach went at length to explain that it was through the Sundowns board that he was able to get his international players back in time for the game that ended in a goalless draw. The winner in Friday’s second leg will qualify for the semifinal of Africa’s premier club competition.

“The second aspect of answering your question is that we have to extend gratitude for the support we get from the football club and the Motsepe family because it costs money,” he concluded.

“From the generosity of the family and our chairman who is so supportive in these types of situations, we have to thank him and the board for always extending their help. In fact, it came from them and it was not coming from me. You have to appreciate that they give so much support to the players.

“That’s all I can say because whatever you do at Sundowns you will get judged so I’d rather not comment on what the perception is except focus on saying that it’s done by some of the big clubs worldwide.”

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