— Published 19 July 2021

South African Football Team Decimated by Contact Cases

Playbook Tokyo 2020

South Africa’s men’s soccer team got off to a rough start at the Tokyo Games. Two players, Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi, plus a video analyst, tested positive for COVID-19 at the athletes’ village, the organizing committee announced on Sunday, July 18th. This is the first concern. But what happened next is worse, since 21 other members of the delegation or people close to the players are now considered as contact cases. The infected players, but also the contact cases, have been isolated in their rooms and have not trained. A question naturally comes to mind: will South Africa be able to start its Olympic tournament, with a first match scheduled for Thursday, July 22nd, against the host country, Japan? Nothing is less certain. According to the guidelines issued by the organizers, contact cases can only participate in competitions after they have tested negative in daily PCR tests, undergone a medical examination and finally received the green light from their international federation. In all cases, however, an athlete considered a contact case must submit a PCR test no later than six hours before the start of the competition.