Players Who Didn’t Make SA Olympics Squad
After several players who many expected to be in the Olympics squad could not be included, here are some of the South Africans who missed out on the selection.
David Notoane and his technical team faced a very difficult preparation phase for the tournament in Tokyo, with several clubs putting their foot down on players he wanted to call up.
The Olympics are not part of the FIFA calendar and as a consequence, clubs can refuse to let their players take part in the competition.
This is what happened with the likes of Percy Tau, Sphephelo Sithole and Gift Links, as Notoane had already explained to iDiski Times in edition 23.
“Sphephelo Sithole (won’t be released), we are still engaging with Thibang Phete,” he told iDiski Times senior writer Velile Mnyandu.
“Gift Links as well, his situation is also a very complicated one because of their new season starting right on June 17 and they also have qualification games for Europa, you know and they need him to start with the team.”
Meanwhile, Premier League-based duo Khanya Leshabela and Kgaogelo Chauke declared themselves unavailable due to differing reasons.
“The one who also declared himself not available for the same reason, Khanya Leshabela, you know he faces a very difficult situation entering his last year of his contract, the potential possibilities of going on loan to a new environment,” Notoane explained.
“Look Kgaogelo Chauke has already rendered himself not available for South Africa and committed his talent to England to continue his development.”
Another one unavailable is Siyabonga Ligandza, who sadly picked up a serious injury which ruled him out of the tournament.
“Ligendza, he is also one disappointing incident that is before us. So he came in, sorted his paper work with the passport and everything was going on track and because he is very eager and excited he went into training to try to prepare his basics and unfortunately has this freak accident that happened through this injury that rendered him out of the Olympic Games,” says Notoane.
Below is an overview of players who couldn’t be selected:
Percy Tau (Brighton & Hove Albion) – not released
Sphelelo Sithole (Belenenses) – not released
Gift Links (Aarhus GF) – not released
Thibang Phete (Belenenses) – not released
Khanye Leshabela (Leicester City) – not released
Siyabonga Ligendza (Cardiff) – injured
Kgaogelo Chauke (Southampton) – wants to represent England