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Links set to miss out on Olympics after club blocks call-up

FourFourTwo logo FourFourTwo 6/4/2021 Dean Workman
a person holding a green ball on a field: Gift Links of South Africa © Provided by FourFourTwo Gift Links of South Africa

David Notoane will be with out young winger Gift Links for the Tokoyo Olympics after the forward's club declined to release the 22-year-old for the games.

The former Cape Town City man was included in Notoane’s Olympic squad for the Tokyo showpiece when the squad was announced two months ago.

However, his club AGF in Denmark has confirmed that the attacker will not be released, despite attempts from Safa and his agent Paul Mitchell trying to convince them.

“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 told SoccerLaduma.

“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.”

“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 joined AGF nearly two years ago from Cape Town City and their decision highlights his importance to the team although the player will ultimately be left bitterly disappointed.

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