Chiefs, Bucs stars could miss Olympics

Premiership

Following the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, several Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns players be left out next year due to their age.

Notoane last month named a massive 78-man provisional squad, which included 18 over-age players, before it was set to be trimmed down to a list of just 22, including a maximum three over-age players.

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However, the IOC and JOC on Tuesday announced the postponement of the Summer Games to 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen over 400,000 people infected and nearly 20,000 deaths worldwide.

This could cause a massive headache for men’s football coaches, in particular SA under-23 coach David Notoane, who will have to mull over his squad again next year given that some players will be turning 24 and may then be considered in the “over-age” category.

“The issue of age will be directed [to the IOC], but I’m sure logic will really say that the current age group should still be the one going to the Olympics, which is those born in 1997,” Notoane tells KickOff.com.

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“So, look, the good thing for me, now people can understand why I did the preliminary list of 78 players, and you can see the visionary planning ahead in my mind.

“Because it was more about looking at a pool of players that were available in this age category, while also recognising during the qualification processes some interesting players from the ’98, ’99 and ’00 age-groups that are playing at very good levels locally and in Europe.

“So, this one year will give everyone a fair opportunity to stake their claim in the final team that we’ll be taking to the Olympics next year.”

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With the date yet to be confirmed, the likes of Itumeleng Shopane, Bongani Sam, Keletso Makgalwa, Jerry Msane, Kgaogelo Sekgota, Sifiso Ngobeni, Given Msimango, Sandile Mthethwa, Kabelo Seriba could be 24 or on the verge of thereof by the time the Games are staged next year.

Check out the gallery above to see some of the stars may miss out on their tickets to Tokyo next year…

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