The South African Football Association (SAFA) has welcomed FIFA and the IOC decision to move the Olympics Games from the initial 24 July – 9 August 2020 to 23 July-8 August 2021.
FIFA also adjusted the age group of those participating in football competition from the standard U23 age group to 24 in light of the Games having been moved by a year.
This will allow the players who qualified for the tournament to take part in the Olympics. South Africa, Egypt and Ivory Coast will represent the African continent at the Tokyo Olympics. The women’s event has no age limit.
SAFA president Dr Danny Jordaan said: “We have a great team comprising some very talented and up and coming stars. Coach David Notoane has assembled an ambitious squad which has all the qualities to go all the way in the upcoming Games.”
This should come as a welcome relief for coach Notoane, who had some players who could miss out if the rule was not relaxed. The men’s tournament will kick off before the 23 July 2021 opening ceremony in Tokyo.
FIFA has called off all national team matches set to be played in June 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic grips the world.
Banyana Banyana was to play either Malawi or eSwatini in AFCON qualifiers, while Bafana Bafana was to host Ghana in the return leg of the 2021 Afcon.
The FIFA-Confederations working group will continue discussions as the situation evolves.