Sun, 07 Jun 2020

SAFA welcomes decision to postpone Tokyo Olympics

News24
25 Mar 2020, 16:12 GMT+10

The South African Football Association (SAFA) welcomes the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games in the face of coronavirus pandemic.

"This is the time for decisive action and putting the health of athletes first," said SAFA president Danny Jordaan in a statement released.

"While we state our clear position on the matter, we do feel for the players who worked hard over 3 years to qualify for the Olympics, South Africa's second successive qualification after Rio 2016."

Jordaan is happy that the event will be rescheduled at a later stage while he also thanked and praised South Africa under-23 coach David Notoane.

"We were confident that with so many high-quality stars in the South African Olympic squad, this team could have made it to the second round and knock-out stages of the Tokyo Olympics," added Jordaan.

"We want to thank head coach David Notoane who has done a magnificent job in building a highly competitive Olympic team and therefore understand his disappointment in not participating in the second-highest competition in world football.

"We will keep in touch with FIFA and hope in the case of the Euro finals which has been moved to 2021 and Copa America also moved to 2021, that IOC and FIFA will also consider these options where players can participate in a safe and non-threatening medical environment."

Notoane admitted that he is quite disappointed but is fully behind the postponement of the world showpiece.

"The IOC has finally given a directive and a position in relation to the postponement of the Olympic Games - Tokyo 2020 to next year before summer, after taking a very guided approach and cautious approach in support of what is before us in terms of all measures to try and curb coronavirus," said Notoane.

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