Under-23 coach David Notoane hopeful players turning 24 next year can play at Tokyo Olympics

SA's national Under-23 coach David Notoane remains optimistic that players turning 24-years-old next year will be allowed to participate in the Tokyo Olympics.

This after the organisers announced the long-awaited postponement of the Olympics scheduled for July 24 to next year following the Covid-19 pandemic.

There are concerns that players who will be turning 24 next year won't be allowed to participate.

However, football's global ruling body Fifa has also called for the tournament to be changed from a U-23 age limit to U-24 to allow the same players who qualified their teams to the event to compete.

"Obviously at this point in time, one will naturally assume that the same age group will be carried over to the tournament," Notoane told Sowetan.

"This is the tournament for the 1997s [those who were born in that year].

"So, I don't anticipate that there will be an age change, especially if you look at the Tokyo organisers as well having requested IOC to continue with the 2020 and not make it 2021."

The IOC has not given any indication of whether they will change the format to U-24.

"One feels secured from that the players who were born in 1997 should be allowed to participate in the tournament.

"But should things go otherwise, now you understand the list of 78 players that I submitted to Sascoc and people were saying that there are too many players there," Notoane continued.

"Then you will see that on that list there are players who were born in 1998 and 1999, especially the previous generations that went to the World Cup and there are also who were born in 2001 in the U-20s.

"What it does is to allow looking deeper into the talent that is at our disposal over the next year to reach the final squad.

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