Betso Mosimani, the coach of Al-Ahly, believes that he can train in Europe, but before many things change, noting that Mahmoud Al-Khatib’s presidency of the Red Fort is similar to Kenny Dalgie’s presidency for Liverpool.
Al-Ahly is preparing to face Al-Duhail, Qatar, in the quarter-finals of the Club World Cup.
Before the confrontation, Musimani held a long interview with CNN, reported by FilGoal.com.
At first, Musimani said, “It’s impossible until someone realizes it.”
The Al-Ahly coach cited the story of Nelson Mandela and gave an example of patience and endurance, “Have you ever thought that South Africa would have a black president like Nelson Mandela? It was amazing.”
Mandela assumed the presidency of South Africa in 1994.
“Can you believe that someone like me, who came from a racist town and had humble beginnings, would be the first coach from South Africa to win the African Champions League on two occasions and to win the award for the best coach in the continent?”
Musimani won the CAF Champions League title with Sundowns in 2016 at the expense of Zamalek, before achieving the title with Al-Ahly in 2020 against Zamalek as well.
On the presence of Mahmoud al-Khatib in the presidency of Al-Ahly after his football career with the team as a player, he explained, “For Mahmoud Al-Khatib to be president of Al-Ahly, this is equivalent to having Kenny Dalglish as president of Liverpool.”
He stressed, “Now he proved his point after he appointed a coach from sub-Saharan Africa to lead Al-Ahly after we won the title – the African Champions League – and we achieved everything.”
On his appointment as Al-Ahly’s artistic director, he said: “I do not want to talk much about the reason for my presence, but it happened. I am the chosen one – a chosen one – and what brought me here was not a political decision.”
“I came to my family because I defeated Al-Ahly and Zamalek, and because they know me and know my name,” he added. “The matter had nothing to do with color or politics.”
Musimani turned to talking about FIFA selecting the coaches nominated for the Best of the Year awards.
He said: “The International Federation should choose coaches from outside Europe in the nominations because the awards are global.”
“Jorge Jesus is now Benfica coach, he won many titles with Flamengo (the Brazilian) and was not nominated even though he was worthy. It is not about me alone, but we have to keep working.”
Jesus won the Copa Libertadores title with Flamengo in the 2018-2019 season.
“Our life as coaches should not revolve around prizes, but we must change people’s thinking,” he added.
And about the possibility of moving to train in one of the major European leagues after his achievements to be the first coach to achieve this, he said: “Is it possible? Maybe. We have to say realistic and say that Europe does not have many African coaches.”
And he added, “I do not want to mix politics with the matter, but there are things that must be said as they are.”
He continued, “I think that a doctor in South Africa is the same doctor in Europe, and an architect as well, so I do not understand why it is looked at differently when it comes to football.”
He asked, “You cannot tell me that all African players who won the Champions League and live in Europe cannot get a chance to train.”
He continued, “Maybe things can change in future generations, but Europe must first accept and give opportunities to Africans born in Europe before we talk about the possibility of getting an opportunity, so the road is very long.”
“Never underestimate a brown South African,” he said.
Musimani took over Al-Ahly training in October 2020 before facing Wydad in the CAF Champions League semi-finals.
Musimani succeeded in leading Al-Ahly in victory back and forth, reaching the final, defeating Zamalek, and achieving the ninth title of the African Champions League.
Musimani also led Al-Ahly to win the Egypt Cup at the expense of Al-Jaysh, so that the team achieved the three-way trip in the 2019-2020 season.