President Cyril Ramaphosa has hailed the appointment of Pitso Mosimane as head coach of Egyptian Premier League side Al Ahly Football Club as a demonstration of “African unity and capability.”
Mosimane, former coach of Premier Soccer League champions Mamelodi Sundowns, took up his position this week with Africa’s most successful football club, which has a long history of coaches from other continents.
The most successful South African coach with five league titles joins Al Ahly with three former Sundowns personnel as part of his technical team: assistant Rhulani Mokwena, fitness coach Kabelo Rangoaga and performance analyst Musi Matlaba.
Ramaphosa said: “Pitso Mosimane will be missed as a force in South African football, but his appointment by our continent’s flagship club strengthens the bonds of friendship between our two countries.
“It is also a recognition of the talent and capability that resides within our own continent. I wish Pitso and his team well as they fly our flag and the flag of continental football with a club in whose success all Africans take pride.”
The President also congratulated South African Tennis Board for securing South Africa’s hosting of the 2023 Table Tennis World Championship, which will be staged in Durban.
This will be the first time in 39 years that this tournament is played on the African continent.
“The South African Tennis Board has done our nation proud with a winning bid that will once again bring a global sport and friends from all over the world to our shores. Now it is up to all of us to reward the confidence expressed in us by the International Table Tennis Federation with efficient, innovative and hospitable preparations for and hosting of this prestigious tournament.
“We especially welcome this recognition of our nation’s capability at a time when the world is focused on a global pandemic that has understandably taken our minds off the hope, optimism, solidarity and inspiration that sport is able to foster," the president said.