Despite Sundowns’ announcement that they had mutually agreed to part ways with Rulani Mokwena, the coach insists he did not want to leave but was forced out.

The decision by the Sundowns board came after a careful consideration of the club’s objectives and expectations. According to the board, Mokwena failed to reach all the targets set for him, despite a season of notable achievements.

Last season, Mokwena guided Sundowns to their seventh DStv Premiership title and the African Football League, setting a new record of 73 points in the 16-team league.

Additionally, he led the team to two cup finals – the MTN8 and the Nedbank Cup -though they lost both to Orlando Pirates.

Sundowns also qualified for the FIFA Club World Cup after reaching the CAF Champions League final. However, these accomplishments were deemed insufficient by the club’s hierarchy for Mokwena to continue in his role.

“You get a phone call and you have to come into a meeting and discuss where the team is. You have to discuss where things went right and celebrate the achievement and you have to discuss the failures,” Mokwena told Robert Marawa on MSW.

“Those were discussed and then after, it was decided to mutually separate. I didn’t want to leave. I have to make it clear that I didn’t want to leave.

“My hand was forced, but there are a lot of things I can’t talk about. I’ve signed a confidentiality clause that prohibits me from speaking about some of the details.

“I hope you understand and accept that there are things that I cannot disclose because if I do, I get in a lot of trouble.”

Mokwena had three years remaining on his contract, which he signed last year. He stated that he does not believe one individual was responsible for his departure, but it is understood that his relationship with sporting director Flemming Berg had deteriorated.

“I don’t think the club is run by one person. It is not a one-person club. I don’t think it was a one-person decision,” he said.

“I must say I was supported and the club was good to me throughout… and of course, sometimes like in January, everybody knows because I have spoken in the press conferences and said we have a little bit of a crisis with the strikers.

“And we are looking for a striker. And everybody knew which striker I wanted and he went on to finish as a top goal scorer. But that’s football.”