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Mamelodi Sundowns

R8m No Show: The Latest On Kekana’s Downs Future

With Mamelodi Sundowns bagging R8 million in prize money after being crowned MTN8 champions, it has been five months since Hlompho Kekana last kicked a ball for the club, and co-coach Rulani Mokwena has given an update regarding the veteran’s future.

Where is Kekana?

The last time the 36-year-old featured in a Sundowns shirt was in June, in the 2020/21 season when he featured in an eight-minute cameo appearance against Cape Town City. Since then, the former club captain has not yet featured in the current campaign and was a notable absentee when the Brazilians lifted the MTN8 trophy for the first time in 14 years last weekend.

Despite his absence from the matchday squads, it was expected that Kekana, who had led the club to numerous titles, would form part of the celebrations at the Moses Mabhida Stadium as his side walked away with the R8m cash prize – however, there was no sign of the midfield hard man, which raised a number of eyebrows.

Moving on?

The Siya crew reportedin September that Kekana had stopped training with the Downs first team, amid interest from Swallows, although a move fell through at the time. The veteran could possibly leave the club and continue his career elsewhere – but he still has three years left on his Sundowns contract, which expires in June 2024. The Siya crew subsequently reported that the veteran has been linked with a possible return to SuperSport United.

What the club is saying?

Speaking to the media after the club's 1-0 win over Maritzburg United, Mokwena was quizzed about Kekana’s absence in the club’s MTN8 celebrations, which drew a cryptic answer from the young coach, hinting that there are plans in the pipelines that could see the Zebediela-born star being absorbed into the club structures, as was the case with Tiyani Mabunda and Teko Modise.

“I think the club will issue a statement. There’s good plans, this club is a very good club – a club that treats its people very well and Hlompho is no different. Hlompho deserves the respect that this club is giving him, and I don’t want to say too much. Let's wait for the club to issue a formal statement,” Mokwena told journalists.

It now remains to be seen what exactly Sundowns’ plans are for the skipper, although it is clear that his time on the field at the club appears to have come to an end.

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