South Africa to take on Brazil in Olympics warm-up

The South African men’s Under-23 side will get an early feel of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games host country when they face their Brazilian counterparts in a high-profile friendly match on March 27 at the Rei Pele Stadium in Maceio.

Head coach Owen da Gama said he was excited about the upcoming friendly encounter, adding that it is such type of games that will harden his boys ahead of the Olympic Games in August.

“We could not have asked for a better match than against the hosts of the Olympic Games. I want to thank the entire SAFA hierarchy and mostly the President, Dr Danny Jordaan for arranging this very important friendly game,” he said.

“It will give the boys a feel of what to expect in August and playing against one of the tournament favourites is what I have been looking for to have a measure of where we are and which areas need to be improved.”

Jordaan thanked the Brazilian FA for the invitation saying the meeting between the two countries would afford both countries an ideal opportunity to fine-tune their squads ahead of the Olympic Games.

“I want to take this opportunity to wish Brazil well and much success in their preparations to host the Olympics; another mega sporting event after the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Good luck,” said Dr Jordaan.

The Under-23s will assemble on March 20 and leave two days later for Brazil. They will arrive in Maceio the following day.

Meanwhile the draw for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will be conducted on April 14. It will be held at the Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil starting at 10h30 local time in Brazil (15h30 South African time).

The tournament runs from August 3-20.