Barcelona players celebrate at the end of the Spanish league football match against Real Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 6, 2018. AFP PHOTOBarcelona players celebrate at the end of the Spanish league football match against Real Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 6, 2018. AFP PHOTO
By THOMAS MATIKO

Billionaire owner of South African league champions Mamelodi Sundown, Patrice Motsepe, will reportedly fork out  $7.9 million (Sh 790 million) to fly in Spanish champions Barcelona to Johannesburg for a friendly match slated for May 16, 2018.

According to The Times, the international friendly between the two clubs, to commemorate the 100th birthday of anti-apartheid hero, the late Nelson Mandela, was supposed to come barely 24 hours after Sundowns’  Caf Champions League match against Guinea’s Horoya in Conakry.

However, Mamelodi successfully petitioned Caf to have the match postponed to May 22 to allow them host the friendly match against the Catalans.

Caf granted Mamelodi their wish but on condition that the club would pay for the extra TV productions resulting from the postponement.

“We would also like to draw your kind attention to the fact that this postponement will lead to extra TV production cost, flight tickets modification, remote on-screen graphics and commentaries. Such amount should be deducted from Mamelodi Sundowns revenue,” reads the Caf statement.

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This will be the second time the South African club’s owner is paying all the expenses for Barcelona to play his side in South Africa.

In 2007, Motsepe is reported to have spent close to $1 million (Sh100 million) to fly in a Barcelona squad that at the time included Brazilian midfielder Ronaldinho and Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto’o.

This time round, with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez expected to make the trip, fans who wish to enjoy the match at the FNB Stadium will also have to dig deep into their  pockets for pricey match tickets.

The cheapest tickets will cost 40 Rand (Sh320), while fans will be required to pay 350 Rand (Sh2,800) for VIP tickets and 550 Rand (Sh4,400) for VVIP tickets.

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