(SATSports) – South African club Mamelodi Sundowns issued an apology to Egyptian side Al Ahly after their coach Pitso Mosimane was subjected to abuse from Sundowns fans before their CAF Champions League quarterfinal second leg on Saturday.
Sundowns, who were previously coached by Mosimane, drew 1-1 with Al Ahly at the Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium in Pretoria but were eliminated 3-1 on aggregate.
Sundowns released a statement on Sunday saying an investigation will be initiated and “appropriate action” taken against those supporters found culpable.
“Mamelodi Sundowns observed behavior and conduct from some of its supporters before its match with Al Ahly which is unacceptable and improper and does not reflect the integrity, respect, compassion, and other values that we uphold,” the statement said.
“We received complaints by supporters of improper conduct and insults but Mamelodi Sundowns supporters should under no circumstances, disrespect, insult or behave in the manner they did and must at all times stay true to our values and principles.”
“We therefore want to apologize to Al Ahly and those associated with the Club.”
Mosimane, who won five league titles and the CAF Champions League title in 2016 with Sundowns, stunned the football world when he left Sundowns in September 2020, just months after signing a contract extension.
The two clubs have generally enjoyed cordial relations since Mosimane swapped sides, despite their rivalry going a notch higher in recent years in light of crucial encounters in the Champions League.
Mosimane’s first return against his former side was expected to be a welcoming one, but was soon turned on its head amid scenes the South Africa Football Association (SAFA) said “brought the name of the country into disrepute”.
Sundowns fans temporarily blocked a bus carrying the defending African champions on their way to the stadium and held placards, several of which contained abuse aimed at Mosimane.
Mosimane blamed an unnamed Sundowns official, who was “bitter” following his departure, for orchestrating the incident in which Mosimane said he and his mother were swore at.
SAFA condemned the incident and pledged to commence an investigation and impose the “harshest penalties” who humiliated Mosimane.