/ 25 February 2008

Sundowns announce Igesund’s departure

Mamelodi Sundowns announced on Sunday night that coach Gordon Igesund and the club will be parting ways. Recently appointed media and communications manager Mahlatse Mphahlele announced ”the club and coach will be parting company on an amicable basis with immediate effect”.

The announcement followed in the wake of yet another jarring setback for the haughty, affluent Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions on Sunday as they were beaten 3-2 by Wits University to plummet to a lowly 12th position on the log.

Mphahlele said discussions between club officials and Igesund, in which Sundowns president Patrice Motsepe was involved, had mutually agreed it was in the best interests of the club and the coach to cut ties at this juncture.

The intriguing question is whether Igesund ”jumped” or was ”pushed” as he came under increasing pressure from supporters and officials, who had become used to success after Sundowns won the PSL title in the past two seasons.

Mphahlele said former Bafana Bafana coach and Sundowns assistant coach Trott Moloto would take over from Igesund on an acting basis, with the rest of the technical staff, including goalkeeping coach Alex Herredia, remaining intact.

Sundowns had hoped to turn a dismal decline around after the mid-season break and launch a concerted bid for a third successive PSL championship, but defeats against Orlando Pirates and Wits in the space of the last five days has effectively ended what would have been a Herculean task in any case.

And emphasising the nature of what has been termed among the most precarious occupations in the world is that Sundowns won the SAA Top Eight tournament under Igesund at the start of the season — something the fans seem almost to have forgotten at this juncture. — Sapa