South Africa won’t be in a position to select one of the country’s overseas-based players for an upcoming major event, the Siya crew has been told.
Gift Links was two months ago included in coach David Notoane’s Olympic squad for the Tokyo showpiece but his club AGF in Denmark has confirmed that the attacker will not be released, shattering his hopes of representing the national team.
“Unfortunately the Olympics do not fall within any FIFA date, so clubs do not have to release players,” his manager Paul Mitchell of Siyavuma Sports Group informed the Siya crew.
“The Danish league starts on July 18 and AGF will have four to five games including the Europa league up until the first week or so of August.”
Mitchell said attempts to get permission for Links to be available to make the final 22-man squad heading to the Olympics had failed.
“We have engaged with the club extensively, to no avail. SAFA also have been in dialogue, however, the club decision has been taken. They also have two Australian players who also will not be released. We have to remain hopeful that SAFA can find a way,” he explained.
“Whilst Gift is extremely disappointed, having worked hard towards making the Olympics over the last two to three years, he has had to try and accept the decision. He has had a good season and will go back on June 17 for pre-season and get ready for another good season and also switch his focus to being selected for the upcoming Bafana squads of the future.”
Links, 22, joined AGF nearly two years ago from Cape Town City and the club’s decision is an indication that he is an important player for the Danish side, though he would have obviously wanted to play in what is a big stage for a young player.
Story by @superjourno
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