Tshepo Ntsoelengoe
Football Writer
1 minute read
10 Feb 2016
10:38 am

SA Under-23 to play top sides ahead of Rio

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

National Under-23 coach Owen da Gama says there are massive plans laid out for baby Bafana Bafana ahead of the Rio Olympic Games in August.

“Part of the plan is to play defending champions Mexico, South American champions Argentina who won it in 2004 and 2008. We would also like to play Republic of Korea, Japan and Sweden the European champions, this all part of the bigger plan. We have put the plan into place and hopefully we can start in the first window, which will be in March,” said Da Gama.

“Otherwise we won’t be able to get the players anyhow; as you know the Premier Soccer League had already suspended the league in November and December for us to qualify, so we can’t expect more than that. With the Fifa window period coming in, the PSL closing on the 21st of May and the Euro leagues are closing from the 10th of June to the 10th of July, so that also that gives us some opportunity to prepare as well.”

This will only be the second time the South African Under-23 soccer team competes at the competition, after Shakes Mashaba took the first Olympic team to Sydney, Australia in 2000.