Mamelodi Sundowns reminded of Caf demands after 15-hour Algeria trip

Mamelodi Sundowns reminded of Caf demands after 15-hour Algeria trip

Mamelodi Sundowns were reminded of the demands in the Caf Champions League when it took them 15 hours to travel to Algeria this week.

In his update following their arrival in Algiers, coach Rulani Mokwena detailed their route ahead of facing CR Belouizdad in the quarterfinals on Saturday night. 

"We haven't had a lot of time to recoup, so immediately after our previous game, we had to travel back to Joburg. Then the following day we were already packed and ready to travel to Cairo and link up to Algiers, almost 15 hours of traveling," he said. 

Downs have come off the back of a Nedbank Cup elimination at Stellenbosch FC – their first defeat in 26 games since October, but Mokwena is confident the squad will not be distracted by that or the logistics. 

"This is the space that you find yourself in for the Champions League and fortunately we have very experienced staff and very experienced players who know how to handle the demands of a trip like this. Then it's about settling and having the first day of training with an activation session and the work done by the sports scientist and the medical department has been very very good," he added.

Another added element in the quarterfinals of the Champions League is the introduction of video assistant referee (VAR), and Mokwena says they are not worried but focusing on the game. 

"The VAR becomes another component but it's a component that is handled by match officials behind the scenes. So, it's still a part of the game that is open to flaws and human error. Ours is not so much to put our minds behind it but to try to make sure that we are focused on playing a good side that knows they will be playing against another good side," he concluded.