'It's disappointing' - Mokwena hits back at Broos accusations

Premiership

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena has strongly hit back at Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos' accusations of attempts at sabotage of the senior men's national team.

Mokwena continued a war of words with the experienced Belgian tactician after the Brazilians were held to a 2-2 draw away to Maniema Union in the first leg of their CAF Champions League second preliminary round tie at the Stade des Martyrs Stadium.

READ | Downs denied CAF CL opening win

The straight-talking 69-year-old Broos had accused Sundowns of complicating his team selection by initially scheduling Thabiso Kutumela to undergo his Covid-19 vaccination jab during the international window.

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Speaking after the final whistle in Kinsasha, Mokwena rubbished any claims at prioritising club affairs to the detriment of the national team.

"It's a very, very difficult situation with Bafana," Mokwena revealed. "We can't even communicate with the medical department.

"We don't know the itinerary of Bafana, we don't know the training programme of Bafana.

"We don't get training feedback in relation to the [player training] load, there's no data.

"So the cooperation with Bafana frustrates us a little bit. Because as Mamelodi Sundowns we are the first to always over the years shown willingness to support the nation.

"To support the cause and release as many personnel including support structures from Sundowns going to represent Bafana Bafana."

Mokwena went on to criticise the fact that many players have returned back from international duty injured.

"In relation to the country's cause, Mamelodi Sundowns has always put Bafana in certain moments in fact ahead of its own cause," Mokwena added.

READ | Broos hits out at Sundowns sabotage

"It's a bit disappointing that even in the previous camp Thapelo [Morena] returned injured. He's not back yet and we're still trying to get him back into the groove by giving him a couple of minutes today.

"Of course he has returned to fitness, returned to training and playing but at the moment he still isn't in the right competitive shape to be ready.

"Then you have the situation of Mothobi Mvala who is so important for us, particularly for this African sojourn and this assignment with his physicality.

"With also his ability to win aerial duels and his ability to control and give us a bit more competitiveness in midfield.

"Then he comes back from Bafana and he's injured you know, then also Rushine de Reuck in our previous match against Swallows doesn't finish the game as a precautionary measure.

"Due to a muscular complication but then he continues to play for Bafana Bafana. Thabiso Kutumela also comes back and he's jaded and is overloaded and comes back and struggles with his performance.

"These are some of the things that disappoint us but okay it is what it is, you have to continue supporting the national cause."

Mokwena also went on to highlight the training methods of Broos and his technical team as a cause for the many injuries.

"It's just disappointing that after the international break with the load, and then we just don't get any form of response.

"Not just from the technical team, but also from the medical department, but it is what it is and the best is to focus what we can focus on and control what we control.

"I reiterate once again Mamelodi Sundowns will always look to support the national cause, it's just disappointing that now for the last couple of international breaks we see our players coming back with injury complications.

"These injuries are all muscular which speak to your training load and we have to improve in that space and see how we can get better relations between the clubs and national team.

"I see Vincent Pule is also out and that is something that has to improve."

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