The online home of Women's Rugby

South Africa reject Olympic invitation

Reports in the South African press suggest that - as feared - SASCOC (the South African Olympic Committee) have rejected the women's sevens team's place at the Rio Olympics.

Happier days for the South African team

Even before South Africa were winners of the African qualification tournament the question of whether they would actually travel to Rio had been thrown into doubt by statements from SASCOC which reiterated their policy of not accepting Olympic places for teams if they only qualified via African continental routes, because in most sports the SASCOC consider the competition to be "too weak" . With a few exceptions (which have generally come about through tough negotiations with individual sports bodies) they will only accept places won via international competitions.

In practice this means that - unless the SARU can negotiate an exception to this policy (and sports such as football and cycling have managed to achieve this) - South Africa's women team will only ever be able to attend an Olympics if they manage to finish in the top four of the World Series.

However, this would all be too late now for 2016. Even if the SARU did present a case to the SASCOC (and, given how tough the qualification criteria is, they would have a good case), Tubby Reddy, the SASCOC, told the (South African) Sunday Times that he "had already declined an invitation for the women's rugby side to compete in Brazil in August next year".

So far there has been no official confirmation or statement from the SARU.

Kenya will now represent Africa at the Rio Oympics, with Tunisia, Zimbabwe and now Madagascar taking part in the repecharge.