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SA U23 Bombshell, 5 Players To Be Released From Olympics Squad

By Velile Mnyandu

The South African U23 preparations for the Olympics have been thrown into total disarray as head coach David Notoane has been forced to make five changes to key players on medical grounds.

iDiski Times can exclusively reveal that the five players, most of whom have been with the SA U23 from the qualifiers till now, will leave the camp before the team departs for Japan next week and possible replacements have been approached already. 

Five key players, two believed to be overseas based, another two locally-based rising stars, a defender and a striker plus one overage player, are expected to be released from the camp as the South African Football Association (SAFA) has spent the past few days consulting with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) working on ways of replacing the five players and iDiski Times understands that they have been given the green light to go ahead. 

This comes as a big blow to David Notoane’s side as they look forward to the SA U23’s third appearance at the Olympics where they have been drawn in a very tough Group A against hosts Japan, France and 2012 men’s football Olympics champions Mexico. 

The replacements are most likely to be players that were part of the squad of 50 that was registered with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and these may include Reeve Frosler, Happy Mashiane (Kaizer Chiefs), Rushine De Reuck, Keletso Makgalwa (Mamelodi Sundowns). 

SAFA was not available for comment but impeccable sources close to these happenings have informed that they are working on sorting out the replacements before coming out to announce the forced changes to the squad, just less than two weeks before they play the opening game in the Olympics against hosts Japan. 

The men’s football Olympic team is currently camping in Nelspruit, ahead of their departure on 13 July and they have only lined-up one international friendly match against Australia on 16 July in Asia.