JOHANNESBURG. — Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane believes North African teams dominate the CAF Champions League soccer due to experience and intimidation tactics.
Twelve North African clubs have won the Champions League both in its current form and when it was called the African Cup of Champions.
Al Ahly are the undisputed kings of the continent having won the crown eight times, and they could make it nine titles as they are currently 3-1 up over Esperance in the first leg of the final this year.
Sundowns have won the title on one occasion in 2016 whereas Orlando Pirates are the other only South African side who claimed the gong when they did so in 1995.
Mosimane said: “They are dominating, let’s be honest, if you look at the number of times teams from North Africa have won it [the Champions League]. But you must also understand that North African teams are old teams in terms of generations. You find teams from the 1800s. They’ve long been part of this thing.
“Look at how many times Al Ahly have won it and check the number of years they have been around. Yes, West Africa was in that space, but it has been dominated by North Africa. I think it’s time it shifted to the south hey. We need to double our efforts.
“The big thing about North Africans is all about the intimidation. It’s about how the officials handle the stress and the pressure. People invade the pitch. When we were playing Setif I remember at one stage one of my players was running down the line from the right side and the bottles were dropping from the top. I mean how do you keep playing?
“It’s a different environment that CAF and FIFA really, in my opinion, have to look at because we can’t have North Africa dominating not only because of the play. This is not supposed to happen at the highest level.”