The coach of the South Africa football team at the Tokyo Olympics fears that his players are victims of heart ailments, like the Dane Christian Eriksen at the Euro, after their period of isolation to prepare for the Olympics following three cases of Covid-19.
The South African football team begins its Olympic tournament against Japan on Thursday, but is disturbed by the three positive Covid-19 tests of two players and a video analyst. Following these tests, 21 members of the delegation were declared contact cases on Monday and confined to their rooms, which caused them to miss two training sessions.
Coach David Notoane fears that the lack of time to acclimatize to the temperature and humidity in Tokyo will put his players at risk when they arrive on the pitch on Thursday. He did not hesitate to cite the example of Christian Eriksen, victim of a heart attack at the Euro.
“We just have to hope and pray that such a thing does not happen to players who have been inactive for a long time since we arrived here,” said David Notoane, who fears his players have not had “enough time to acclimatize “.
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South Africa in Group D with France
The South Africans will be able to play against Japan on Thursday provided they test negative six hours before kick-off. Their coach said on Tuesday that he had 17 players at his disposal and thanked the organizers for not having canceled the match. Defender Tercious Malepe added that it was “not easy to return to training” after missing two sessions but that the “players have reacted well” to the new challenge.
The Bafana Bafana will face the France team on the second day of the group stage, on July 25, before playing on July 28 against Mexico.