COSAFA sides South Africa and Zambia now know their fate after the draw was made for the football tournaments at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games on Wednesday.
South Africa will open the men’s tournament against hosts Japan in Tokyo, and must also play France and Mexico in what is an extremely difficult Group A.
Coach David Notoane recognises the challenge, but says his side will be up for it and will do their best at the tournament.
“We now know the identity of our opponents, it is a tough draw but a good one if I look at the other groups,” Notoane says. “With good preparation and application, we can get out of it and go to the knockout stage.
“So, we are happy with how the draw came up and we look forward to playing at the Tokyo Stadium, which is a plus as that is where the base of the Olympics will be.
“I am very excited and looking forward to having a focussed preparation now that we know who the opponents are.”
Meanwhile, COSAFA’s other representative at the Olympics, Zambia, have also been drawn into an extremely difficult pool in the women’s competition.
They will face Brazil, China and Netherlands – all top teams in the women’s game that will present a huge challenge.
The men’s competition will take place from July 22-August 7, with the women’s tournament starting and finishing a day earlier.