The R20 million prize money for winning the Caf Champions League will be divided amongst Mamelodi Sundowns’ players‚ the club’s president Patrice Motsepe said after his side lifted the trophy at Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria‚ Egypt on Sunday night.
Sundowns showed guts to concede just the one goal‚ by Stanley Ohawuchi in the 65th minute‚ against Zamalek to lose the second leg of the final 1-0 and win 3-1 on aggregate. In so doing‚ they realised Motsepe’s dream since buying the club in 2003 of becoming champions of Africa.
The club’s president said the $1‚5 million prize money will be shared by the players. “All of the $1.5 million – it’s all theirs. They must now sit down and start thinking about how they are going to divide that money amongst themselves‚” Motsepe said.
“I just said to them‚ ‘Guys‚ don’t waste the money now. Take some of that money and invest it.
“It will benefit you when your football days are over’.” Mosimane praised Downs coach Pitso Mosimane for putting together a team capable of conquering Africa. “You know the irony is I had coaches from all over the world‚ and I had to wait for a young man from South Africa to show us something that we always knew – that we have got so much talent in South Africa‚” the president said.
“We must just give our coaches a chance and also invest in our youth. The future for South African football looks bright. “I’m very proud of him.
And I’m also proud of [assistant coaches] Manqoba [Mngqithi] and Rhulani [Mokoena]. “And I also want to take this opportunity to thank those who’ve been part of South African football for many years. I was a little boy and these people inspired me.
“They are my heroes‚ and we also want to dedicate this to them. “This is a humble contribution from Mamelodi Sundowns for South Africa. It’s a great‚ great honour to represent your country. “And we are so honoured that we can bring this trophy back for all South Africans.”
Sundowns have raised the bar with their Champions League title‚ the first by a South African club since Orlando Pirates in 1995.
Motsepe said he believes other clubs in SA will follow Downs’ lead. “I think there are at least five clubs in South Africa who I have no doubt can win the Champions League. And those five clubs exclude Mamelodi Sundowns‚” he said.