The South African under-23 Men’s National Team 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 Sunday, 27 March 2016 at Rei Pele Stadium in Maceio in the state of Alagoas. The match kicks off 18:30 (Monday, 00:30 SA time). SA Under-23 head coach Owen Da Gama says he is 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. 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.’
SAFA President, Dr Danny 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. Jordaan says: ‘“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.’ The SA under-23s will assemble on Sunday, 20 March and leave two days later (Tuesday, 22 March) for Brazil.
They will arrive in Maceio the following day (Wednesday, 23 March). Maceio is the capital of the Alagoas State, one of the smallest states in the eastern part of Brazil and is famous for its expansive sugarcane and coconuts plantations as well as cattle raising. Meanwhile the draw for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will be conducted on Thursday, 14 April 2016.
It will be held at the Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil starting at 10:30 local time in Brazil (15:30 South African time). The tournament takes place from 3 – 20 August.