Kaizer Chiefs have announced that Itumeleng Khune and Erick Mathoho will be released to join the Olympic football squad after the Carling Black Label Cup.
The Glamour Boys released a statement on their official website revealing they had made an arrangement with Owen Da Gama and his technical team regarding the Bafana Bafana duo’s travel arrangements.
Speaking to kaizerchiefs.com, team manager Bobby Motaung said: “We have made an arrangement with the coach, Owen Da Gama, and his technical team that the players will be released to join the Olympics squad after the Carling Cup.
“We have communicated with the coach, Da Gama, that the players will fly on Sunday, 31 July, to be on time to catch up with the Under-23’s in Rio before their first match on 4 August.
“We understand our obligations to support the national teams and at the same time we want to serve the supporters and bring sponsors into football,” concluded Motaung.
Khune and Mathoho were announced as two of the three overage players in the South African U23 football squad named earlier this week, with both men expected to start in the tournament opener against hosts Brazil, on 4 August, at the Mane Garrincha Stadium.
Cape Town – South African Under-23 coach Owen Da Gama has included Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune in his 2016 Rio Olympics squad.
Da Gama has chosen two “over age” players with Khune’s club team-mate Eric Mathoho, 24, also set to join him in Brazil.
The 28-year-old ‘keeper will go toe-to-toe for the No 1 jersey with Ajax Cape Town’s Jody February.
In defence, Mathoho is joined by Kwanda Mngonyama, Rivaldo Coetzee and newly signed Orlando Pirates defender, Abbubaker Mobara.
Keagan Dolly along with Gift Motupa and Bidvest Wits’ Phumlani Ntshangase kept their places in the squad following a successful COSAFA Cup campaign.
Da Gama chose four strikers in the 18-man squad with Menzi Masuku and Tashreeq Morris included as well.
South Africa Under-23 Olympic squad:
Goalkeepers: Jody February, Itumeleng Khune
Defenders: Kwanda Mngonyama, Rivaldo Coetzee, Abbubaker Mobara, Mothobi Mvala, Eric Mathoho, Tebogo Moerane, Tercious Molepe
Midfielders: Gift Motupa, Aubrey Modiba, Deolin Mekoa, Phumlani Ntshangase, Keagan Dolly
Forwards: Tyroane Sandows, Lebo Mothiba, Menzi Masuku, Tashreeq Morris
South Africa’s Rio 2016 fixtures:
Thursday, August 4: v Brazil at 16:00 (Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha)
Sunday, August 7: v Denmark at 19:00 (Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha)
Wednesday, August 10: v Iraq at 22:00 (Arena Corinthians)