Rulani On Lack Of PSL Players At World Cup

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - NOVEMBER 12: Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - NOVEMBER 12: Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena has discussed reasons why the DStv Premiership is not represented by any players at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. 

Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Richard Ofori was the sole hope from the PSL's perspective that he would be at the World Cup after he was included in Ghana's 55-man preliminary squad. However, Ofori missed the Carling Black Label Cup tournament for the Buccaneers and after fears that he could miss the showpiece in Qatar, those apprehensions became a reality on Monday after he was not included in the Black Stars' final 26-man squad. 

Read: Rulani: Mailula Has Similar Quality To Percy Tau 

That means no player in the PSL will be taking part in the global football spectacle and there were questions raised on whether that's due to the standard of the Premiership in the country.

"It's a very complex one because it also speaks to the rules and the regulations of the league that we're part of," Mokwena told journalists in a press conference.

"Because predominantly, of all the 16 teams, it is local South African players, because only five foreigners can be registered in each team.

"So it would be a little bit of an unfair statement to make, in saying it is an unfair reflection of the league, if the main nation is not represented at the World Cup," he said. 

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"So if South Africa was represented or had qualified for the World Cup, I'm not so sure that we'll only have one player representing the DStv Premiership at the World Cup (Ghana's final squad without Ofori was announced a couple of days later).

"So it's a little bit of a complex question and it needs a little bit more time to answer it because it's a lot more complex than what it looks like."

However, Mokwena raised questions on the scouting and profiling of foreign players by other clubs.

"Because it does not only speak about regulations as I've said and you can compare now with some of the other leagues that has more players being represented at the World Cup," he carried on.

"But it also speaks about the recruitment and the profiling and it also speaks about the different clubs and what they look for, where they recruit their players.

"So I wouldn't say that having one player (no player) who plays in the DStv Premiership going to the World Cup is sort of a true reflection of the state of the DStv Premiership. I wouldn't say that," he added. 

Read: Themba Zwane Grateful For Sundowns ‘Freedom’ 

Sundowns had a chance of having a representative at the World Cup after they signed Moroccan defender Abdelmounaim Boutouil in the off-season.

However, Boutouil, who was described as one of the best centre-backs in the Botola Pro before he was signed by the Brazilians has not played an official match domestically for the Tshwane giants due to registration issues and was not included in the Atlas Lions' squad, which qualified for the World Cup. 


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