PCR tests to decide fate of S.Africa football team

In the Tokyo Olympics, Japan will face South Africa in its first group league match in men's football on Thursday night. But whether the game will be held depends on the virus tests the South African team will take before the match.

Two players and a staff member of the South African team tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday. Eighteen others, including players, have been identified as having had close contact with them.

Regulations stipulate a team must have 13 available players for a game to be played.

Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics said players who had been in close contact with the infected people can still play if the PCR tests taken six hours before the game come back negative.

Members of the Japan squad have responded calmly to the development.

Kubo Takefusa said he does not view the situation negatively, adding that the Japan players will only focus on themselves.

His teammate Itakura Kou also said he is only thinking about preparing for the match fully geared up.

South Africa coach David Notoane told reporters on Tuesday that the situation is mentally tough, but expressed the team's resolve to do its best.