Following Mamelodi Sundowns’ CAF Champions League triumph last month Mogakolodi Ngele was expected to be amongst the club’s medal recipients. however, he was snubbed of that honour as the club explained that departed players cannot be given medals. As a result Ngele was denied another moment of history that would have made him the first Motswana to win the CAF Champions League.
Ngele was part of the club’s first CAF squad this season, he made a substitute appearance in the group stages against ES Setif and was on the bench against Enyimba. It appears Sundowns did not submit his name in the 30-man list sent to CAF despite his involvement in the competition. Normally, non playing or bit part playing members are also given medals for being part of championship winning squads.
He transferred to Bidvest Wits in the off season while the competition was still running, his former club went on to win the competition. Not only did he miss out on a prestigious CAF medal, he also missed out on a mammoth bonus of the R20.9million prize money that was shared amongst the players.
Sundowns Chief Executive Officer Sizwe Ndzimande told South African media outlets that “it happens over the world that players that left their clubs should not be given medals.” Nzimande’s explanation is rather bizarre given the fact that in England, Richie de Laet left Leicester City after the first three games of the season to join Middlesbrough on loan.
When the season ended he was part of Leicester City’s title celebrations and he was given a medal despite playing in less than 50 percent of their league winning campaign. Sundowns’ management reserves the right to choose who they award medals, but Ngele and his teammate Cuthbert Malajila should feel hard done by.