Pitso leads supports for Tovey's plea

AFCON News

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has come out to support the South Africa under-23 national team in their course to qualify for the Olympics in Japan next year.

The under-23 team is currently in Egypt for the U23 Africa Cup of Nations where they are expected to compete and qualify for the Olympic Games.

The teams that finish in top three during of the continental tournament – which also includes Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Zambia, Nigeria and Mali – will represent Africa in Tokyo next year.

Despite assembling a strong team, coach David Notoane's preparations have suffered a big blow with some players only expected to join the squad after the first game against Zambia on Saturday.

SAFA technical director Neil Tovey has already slammed some of the PSL clubs for their reluctance to release players for the national assignment.

READ: Tovey blames PSL clubs for U23 debacle

Captains Tercious Malepe and goalkeeper Mondli Mpoto only joined the team for camp on Thursday while striker Phakamani Mahlambi has withdrawn due to injury, with Mamelodi Sundowns teammate Keletso Magalwa called up in his place.

Mosimane has come out to pledge The Brazilians' support towards national team duty in Cairo.

"It's important we support them to take the team to the Olympic Games, that's very key," said Mosimane.

"That's why we have Keletso Magalwa, who could have played against Baroka but we released him to help us with the under-23s because it's an important programme for the country.

READ: Downs forward gets national U23 call

"We have to support Notoane, he is also our coach, we have to support him with the players. It would have been nice for Keletso to come on in a game like this [against Baroka] but it's not about Sundowns, it's about the big agenda.

"The nation comes first. We need to support the country. The Olympic Games are important for the country."

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