Bafana Bafana

Amaglug-glug coach calls for SAFA, PSL support following Tokyo Olympics qualification

2019-11-23 15:31
David Notoane
David Notoane (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - South Africa U23 coach David Notoane has urged SAFA and the PSL to come together to work out a plan that will give him his best available players to prepare for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Notoane and his side qualified for the Olympics after beating Ghana on 6-5 on penalties after a thrilling match ended 2-2 after regulation time of the third place playoff tie in the U23 African Cup of Nations that was held in Egypt.

Now that they have cemented their spot at the Games, Notoane knows that he will find it difficult for clubs to release players so he can prepare the side next year.

The Olympics Games is set to take place between July 22 to August 8 next year and, while the tournament itself is recognised by Fifa and players will have to be released, Notoane needs time for adequate preparation.

In quotes published by the Sowetan, Notoane said: "We now have to go back to the drawing board and prepare for the bigger stage at the Olympics, which comes in the period of July to August.

"There are challenges - there is a domestic league, unlike in Egypt where the FA [Football Association] stops the league from continuing.

"If I check my calendar then there is only one Fifa break, so I hope that I will get support from the FA, from the professional clubs, to make sure we have a lot of preparation matches and the players available for them."

Notoane went to the U23 African Cup of Nations with only 15 players, including three goalkeepers, as clubs refused to play ball as the tournament fell out of the international window.

But SAFA now have time to come up with a solution for Notoane to have his strongest possible squad available to him next year.

Notoane added: "Our domestic competition will end in May so that is a big headache I am facing.

"I came into this tournament with a big headache and I am going home happy but with another headache.

"Hopefully we will find synergy between the FA and the professional league to give this team better preparation."

It is the third time that South Africa has qualified for the Olympic Games having competed in Sydney 2000 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Read more on:    sa u-23  |  david notoane  |  soccer


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