South Africa have successfully qualified for the Olympics for a third time since their first qualification in the 2000 Australian Summer Olympics. Amaglug-glug have registered just one win in six Olympic fixtures, followed by two draws and three losses. Already coming in as least favourite to win the tournament at 250/1, life has not been made easier for the team with much unrest in the camp after five players were dropped due to various medical reasons reported by SAFA.
David Notoane has his hands full with much shuffling happening in the camp and will have to reiterate plans and strategies to a newly filled squad. A successful campaign for Notoane will be that of a first group stage qualification, but coming up against the likes of France, Mexico and Japan in Group A will not make it an easy feat for the 52-year-old manager.
The five players who will no longer take part are Lyle Foster, Fagrie Lakay, Abbubaker Mobara, Sipho Mbule and Keletso Makgalwa, and Notoane and SAFA have yet name their replacements. The players who are still in the squad have still had excellent seasons at their respective domestic clubs.
The only overaged player in the squad is goalkeeper Ronwen Williams who has featured for Bafana Bafana on many occasions. Key figures in the squad are the midfield pairing of Tercious Malepe and Kamahelo Mahlatsi, and that of in-form Baroka FC forward Evidence Makgopa.
Each game in this group is a big ask for the South Africans, and with trouble in the camp ahead of the tournament it will be that much more difficult for the coaching staff and players.