Gift Links ruled out of Tokyo Olympic Games- Agent

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National u23 coach David Notoane will have to make do without the services of talented left-winger Gift Links, after his club AGF Aarhus has refused to release him for the Tokyo Olympics

The former Cape Town City player Links was initially named in Notoane’s 40-man preliminary squad for the showpiece, before eventually being named in a follow-up squad that was scheduled to participate in a preparation tournament in the UAE.

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However, his name missing in Notoane’s most recent list for two preparation games away to Egypt, raised eyebrows as well as questions from the local football fraternity. Speculation was rife that he may have fallen out of favour with Notoane, however, that has proven not to be the case, as his agent Paul Mitchell has since come out to clarify the matter of his availability once and for all.

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Agent clarifies situation

“Unfortunately the Olympics do not fall within any FIFA date, so clubs do not have to release players,” Mitchell said to Soccer-Laduma in an attempt to offer context on the situation surrounding Links. He then explains that Aarhus schedule close to and during the period of the Olympics made it more difficult.

“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.”

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Mitchell then explains that there have been extensive talks from both himself and SAFA to have Links to be released for the Olympic games but to no avail so far, also adding that they haven’t given up on the prospect yet.

“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,”

Mitchell admitted that Links was disappointed but understood he would have to get on with it regardless.

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“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.” He concluded.

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