Pitso Mosimane has credited Al Ahly President – Mahmoud El Khatib for the bold decision he took in appointing him as the head coach of the Egyptian giants.
The South African guided Al Ahly to an impressive 10th CAF Champions League title last Saturday having washed away Kaizer Chiefs 3-0 at the Mohammed V Stadium in Casablanca.
“Let’s be honest,” Mosimane said at the post-match press conference of the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League final, “without President El Khatib, I wouldn’t be here. I doubt.”
“For many years, it has been a norm that whenever a club from this part of the world searches for a new coach, they go to Europe and find a new coach,” said Mosimane.
“It was a norm. If not Europe, they try someone from around but mainly Europe. But Captain El Khatib went against the wind. He took a very bold decision and I’m sure a lot of people didn’t understand him then.
“It was a very bold decision and I’m sure very difficult as well because, you bring this coach, yes I was known in Egypt but no-one from Sub Sahara Africa has ever coached the club in over 100 years.
“And what if this decision backfires and it turns out to be a very bad move? There was a lot at stake but he went ahead and backed me for this job.”
Since taking over at Al Ahly last year in October, Mosimane has won two TotalEnergies CAF Champions League titles, in addition to TotalEnergies Super Cup, Egypt Cup, and finished third in the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar.
According to Pitso Mosimane [a philosopher], football is not just a game – it is a platform to influence the thinking of society.
He strongly believes that’s the reasons why the bold move by El Khatib went before football reasons, but was a historical moment that altered the course of African football history.
“He [El Khatib] is now part of history. Because of him, many clubs will now be open to hiring coaches that look like me – not just those who come from Europe. And, I have nothing against Europe, I have nothing against top managers who come from Europe to exchange their knowledge here.
“But we Africans are also good enough – we also have ideas, we also have philosophy. We just need to be trusted.”
By Godfred Kwasi Yeboah