Kgatleng football giants, Mochudi Centre Chiefs, are scheduled to travel to Khartoum, Sudan, to play two international friendly games against local giants Al-Merreikh Sporting Club at the magnificent 43,645 seater Al Merrikh Stadium.
The two games are billed for February 7 and 8 in the North African country. Information reaching Sunday Standard is that FIFA-accredited match agent, Cornelius Ehimiaghe of Ovetta Sportif based in Glasgow, Scotland, is the one who is organizing the game on behalf of the Sudanese giants.
In a letter, of which this paper is in possession of, Al Merreikh has committed itself to paying for all the expenses during Chiefs’ trip to Sudan.
The letter further states that match appearance fees will be negotiated at a later stage.
When contacted for comment on Friday, Chiefs’ Communications Officer, Clifford Mogomotsi, confirmed the developments saying that they are excited about the invitation. He said playing a top quality side like Al-Merreikh will not only expose his club but the players.
“We have accepted the invitation and it will serve well for us as we prepare for the second round of the league and the Top 8 (sponsored by Mascom),” he said.
In their sojourn to North Africa, Chiefs might be without the services of their four key players, Pontsho ‘Piro’ Moloi, Joel ‘Speedfire’ Mogorosi, Tshepo ‘Talk-Talk’ Motlhabankwe and Othusitse ‘Jabu’ Pilane, who are part of the national team which will be competing at the 2012 Africa Cup Of Nations. “There is that possibility that we might go without our players in the national team if they proceed to the knockout stages. If the Zebras fail to qualify for the knockout stages, we’ll definitely include them in the trip to Sudan. But we have confidence in the remaining players that they’ll represent us well,” he continued.
Mogomotsi pointed out that the trip to Sudan has come as a blessing, more especially after their proposed trip to Russia hit a snag because their players did not have passports. He said that they are working on the player’s passports to ensure that they will be ready by the time they depart.┬á
“Since the Zebras qualified for AFCON, most of the countries are interested in knowing more about our football. We’ve been receiving invitations more especially that we’re leading the log. You must remember that Al-Merreikh is a quality side and we’ve no doubt that we’ll benefit from the trip. I think it’s time we reconsider our position in taking part in continental competitions because it helps in growing your players,” he said. ┬á
Al-Merreikh might also be without 10 of their players, including their two goalkeepers Bhaldien Mohammed and Akram Al Hadi, who have been named in the 23-man Sudanese squad for the Nations Cup.
If Sudan gets knocked out on January 30, the Khartoum side might be at their best when they face Chiefs.
Currently, Chiefs are leading on the Premier League log with 41 points from 16 games and are hot favourites to lift their second league title in many years.
Chiefs’ chairman Ernest Molome has hinted that they will include some of their new players in their trip. Chiefs have not wasted time in signing Sekgabo Molebatsi who was released by Uniao Flamengo Santos last year. Inspirational midfielder Dirang Moloi started training with Chiefs on Tuesday and he is likely to be part of the travelling crew as he has written to Notwane notifying them of his intentions of rejoining Magosi.