Lille clear Mothiba for Olympic Games in Rio
Posted: 15 July 2016 Time: 21:28
French Ligue 1 side Lille have confirmed that striker Lebogang Mothiba will be available for South Africa's national Under-23 squad at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next month.
Mothiba recently signed a three-year deal with after he initial joined the club in 2014 from the Johannesburg-based Diambars Academy. The Olympics fall outside the FIFA calendar so clubs are not obliged to release their players to participle at the games.
Having just been promoted to the first team, it is perhaps easier for Lille to let Mothiba go, after Danish side Brondby barred Lebogang Phiri and KV Oostende did not release Andile Jali, both being regulars in their respective teams.
Mothiba’s agent in France, Jihed Taniche, has told KickOff.com that the 20-year-old has been given the go-ahead to feature for South Africa in Brazil.
"Initially when the squad was announced (yesterday) LOSC didn't have the agreement yet," Taniche said. "He's currently in the pre-season with pros as he has been promoted, but they have said it is okay for Lebogang to go for the Olympics."
South Africa are in Group A and open their campaign against the hosts Brazil on August 4. They then take on Denmark (Aug. 7) and Iraq (Aug. 10).