Andile Jali was very willing to be part of the Men’s under 23 football team going to take part in the Rio Olympic Games representing South Africa. He has been in contact with the technical team and was very passionate about playing for South Africa as teams are allowed to field 3 over-aged players in the tournament.
His Belgian outfit K.V. Oostende replied to the South African Football Association (SAFA) regarding his inclusion in the national team. They indicated that Jali will not be available for South Africa in the Olympic Games. They did not indicate the reasons for denying Jali a chance to showcase his talent in the much recognized football tournament.
Owen Da Gama said the following regarding this issue: “Andile (Jali) was the first player when we were in the Bafana Bafana camp who raised his hand and said ‘coach, if the Under-23s qualify, I want to be the first over-aged player’. We contacted his club on numerous occasions and they were not responding, eventually after numerous e-mails and letters that we sent to the club, they eventually responded and told us he cannot go.
It surely is a disappointment for Jali as he was expected to be part of the Olympic team. Although there is still a lot of time before the Olympics, it seems K.V. Oostende will not release him for the tournament. Below is the groups and fixtures for the Men’s football tournament at the Rio Olympic Games 2016:
Group A has the following teams: Brazil, Denmark, Iraq, and South Africa. Group b has: Columbia, Nigeria, Japan, and Sweden. Group C has: Fiji, Germany, Korea Republic, and Mexico. Group D has: Argentine, Algeria, Honduras, and Portugal.
The African continent will be represented by 3 countries which are South Africa, Nigeria and Algeria. South Africa will play their first game against Brazil on the 5th August 2016, their second group game will be against Denmark on the 8th August 2016, and their last group game will be against Iraq on the 11th August 2016.
The group winners and runners up of each group will qualify for the quarterfinals. The winners of Group A will face the runners up of Group B, the winners of Group B will face the runners up of Group A, the winners of Group C will face the runners up of Group D, and the winners of Group D will face the runners up of Group C.
The winner of the game between Group D winners and Group C runners up will face the winner between Group B winners and Group A runners up, whereas the winner between Group C winners and Group D runners up will face the winner between Group A winners and Group B runners up. The winner of the first two games will play each other in the first semi-final at Rio de Janeiro on 17th August at 21:30. The winner of the last two games will play each other in the second semi-final at Rio de Janeiro on 18th August at 00:30. The losers from the respective semi-finals will play for the Bronze Medal on 20th August at 21:30.