Nagelsmann is just case in point - Orlando Pirates' Mokwena speaks out about being discriminated

Goal.com

Former Orlando Pirates caretaker coach Rhulani Mokwena says he felt discriminated against while in charge of the Soweto giants.

The young tactician took charge of the Buccaneers at the age of 34 following the sudden departure of Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic last August having previously served as an assistant coach.

The team struggled under Mokwena's guidance in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and he was replaced by Josef Zinnbauer last December

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"I'd like to be a coach that tries my best to show my capacity; I believe that gone are the days when – hopefully, very soon – people will look beyond age and skin colour, and will focus on competence and the capacity of people," Mokwena told South African Football Journalists Association (Safja).

"[Julien] Nagelsmann is just a case in point – he didn't play professional football; he's 32 years old and he's German, and he's been given the responsibility of leading not just Hoffenheim before but now RB Leipzig – one of the biggest teams in the Bundesliga.

"Now, here in South Africa it's very, very difficult for young coaches to be able to [enjoy the same opportunities]. In fact, we set them up for failure, and the pity is that black people set black coaches up for failure."

Mokwena, who was appointed Chippa United head coach last March, explained that he had little time to prepare for his first match in charge of the team against Highlands Park which Pirates lost in the MTN8 quarter-final encounter.

"It's a pity, but it's a sensitive topic and time will tell. I'll speak about it one day, because after my first match, I had a senior player at Pirates come to me," he continued.

"Micho had left on the Friday; we played Highlands Park on the Saturday – less than 24 hours after Micho left; on Sunday we had regeneration and recovery; Monday we had training at Rand Stadium, and a senior player came to me.

"He said someone – within the organisation, not senior but someone in the club – phoned him and said to him, 'Are you happy with the coach [Mokwena]?' Or, 'Are you happy that the coach has been given the job as head coach?"

The former Mamelodi Sundowns assistant coach indicated that he learned a lot from his first coaching job in the PSL.

"I tell you, I had not even done a training session as a head coach, not even one, and already people were planting doubts into the players about my capacity to lead the team," he added.

"So, those are the things. I don't think that would have happened to any other coach. It's a pity, but it is what it is, and these things make us stronger; you can't dwell too much on these things.

"Now you know, when [Augusto] Palacios says, 'Eh, you must walk with your wall to the back here in football.' Now you understand what he means, because you learn from experience."

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