There are players who stand to miss out on representing their countries at the Olympics in Tokyo due to the games postponement to next year.
The Olympic men’s football tournament is restricted to U23 players so for 2020, players born on or after 1 January 1997 are eligible, while squads can also include three players over the age of 23.
It has been announced that Athletes who had already qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics before they were postponed will keep their places when the showpiece takes place in 2021 but nothing has been said on football players who would have turned 24 by the time the games take place.
FARPost looks at some of the U23 players in the current 78 provisional squad who are now 23-years-old but could miss out because they would have turned 24 in July next year:
Darren Johnson (goalkeeper)
Jody February (goalkeeper)
Tercious Malepe (defender and captain)
Teboho Mokoena (midfielder)
Thabo Cele (midfielder)
Keletso Makgalwa (forward)
So far the South Korea’s football association as well as the Australian Olympic Committee have asked for squads to be expanded in line with other major tournaments.
It remains to be seen if the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will raise the age limit for the Tokyo Games in 2021 to ensure those players who helped their teams qualify are still eligible to compete.
By Ofhani Munyai