Here we go, the situation Pitso Mosimane has been calling for is finally here.
Two South African clubs, Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns, and not one will fly the SA flag in the Caf Champions League group stages.
Chiefs haven’t taken Caf competitions seriously over the years and as such don’t have much history in African tournaments besides their Mandela Cup triumph back in 2001.
The Mandela Cup was the African Cup Winners’ Cup competition that has since been merged with the Caf Confederation Cup.
Back then, Amakhosi had exciting talents such as Jabu Mahlangu (Pule) and Patrick Mbuthu.
The great Doctor Khumalo was there too, although he was in his last years as a pro, but his role in their journey was crucial as explained by former coach Muhsin Ertugral.
Ertugral said: “We had a really tough situation with the registration of players.
“We had a squad of 14 players for the final so we had to manage ourselves very well. I told everybody else to fight, but I told Doki [Khumalo] to do one simple thing, hold the ball for us, because we were going to be tired.”
How does Gavin Hunt manage the current group? It’s important for us Capetonians because Huntie is our homeboy.
He has become one of the PSL-era’s greatest coaches.
Check the man’s CV, it’s incredible. There are a few league championships there, my friend. And there’s also a story about his experience working on the brown and bumpy pitches of Thohoyandou as an up-and-coming coach.
He’s done quite a bit to stand proudly as a South African coach who figured his way through the messy local football industry.
But he’s struggling at Chiefs and needs to figure out a way to manage what looks like a write-off season for Amakhosi.
I can’t say what he must do, but I also do know the expectations that come with the job at Naturena.
The fans are very demanding about the local titles, but they were min gespin about going back to defend their Caf title the very next year.
They were banned for three years by Caf and it meant nothing to them, because they always complained about participation in Caf competitions.
They didn’t even show any remorse, thus their terrible record when mentioned alongside other big clubs on the continent.
Sad to realise right? Chiefs can’t even be called an African giant if we are being honest.
They had to play two preliminary rounds to reach this season’s group stages, which is the first time ever for the Soweto outfit.
They beat Cameroon’s PWD Bamenda and Angola’s Primeiro de Agosto to get there.
They have since been drawn alongside another Angolan side Petro Atletico, Horoya of Guinea and Moroccan giants Wydad Athletic in Group C.
Meanwhile, their Pretoria nemesis, Sundowns, are appearing in the group stages for the sixth time in row.
They also have the added status of being ex-champions under Mosimane, who’s in charge of Al Ahly right now.
They have avoided their former coach for now, as they are in Group B, alongside CR Belouizdad from Algeria, Al Hilal from Sudan and DR Congo’s own TP Mazembe.
They beat Botswana's Jwaneng Galaxy to get here, but they were exempted from the first preliminary round because they are in fact an African giant.
The round-robin phase is scheduled to kick off on February 12-13, with Chiefs starting out with a trip to Wydad and Sundowns hosting Al Hilal, and will then conclude by April 9-10.
Amakhosi face Cape Town City in the PSL this weekend.