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Delay in Olympics a blow to Teboho Mokoena

Teboho Mokoena of SuperSport United and SA U23.
Teboho Mokoena of SuperSport United and SA U23.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/ BackpagePix

The postponement of the Olympics due to the Covid-19 pandemic has hit Teboho Mokoena very hard.

It was going to be Mokoena's first Olympics, but the SuperSport United midfielder will now hope to become one of the overage players to be picked next year for the under-23 tournament.

The Tokyo Olympics was postponed from this year to next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with Mokoena one of the players who were in the SA under-23 squad.

He will be 24 when the Games are staged next year.

"I'm disappointed as I was looking forward to it but then there is nothing I can do because our health comes first," Mokoena told Sowetan yesterday.

"It is beyond our control, my brother. Now I have to go back to my team and continue doing what I was doing so the coach can call me again. I will have to work harder for him to call me up.

"If things are back to normal then we will see next year, but you will never know what happen in football."

The Bethlehem-born, Free State, midfielder is currently training on his own at home following the programme his team gave them.

The postponement of the Olympics could also be a headache for U23 coach David Notoane, who will have to mull over his squad again next year given that some players will be overage.

The likes of Bongani Sam, Keletso Makgalwa, Jerry Msane, Kgaogelo Sekgota, Sifiso Ngobeni, Given Msimango, Sandile Mthethwa and Kabelo Seriba will also be 24 when the Tokyo Olympics Games are staged.

It's unclear if the International Olympic Committee would allow players who would have been eligible this year to play in next year's event.

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