Namibia: Pre-Season Tourney On the Cards

DOMESTIC football could restart with a pre-season tournament next month, hinted Namibia Football Premier League director Mabos Vries.

To jump straight into league action would strain the actioned deprived players who need to gradually be re-introduced to the vigorous nature of the game. A warm-up event would help circumvent substandard performances, he said in an interview with The Namibian Sport yesterday.

"It would be advisable that you have a pre-tournament because the players have been laid off for more than two years some of them. If you go to the first and second division, these guys haven't played football for three years," Vries advised.

All leagues are tentatively set to kick off on 7 March. Women's football was already revived towards the back end of last year with the first half of the NFA Women's Super Cup.

"We are in the process of finalising the launch [of the leagues]. That's the priority," Vries said.

However, there remains the not so small matter of resolving the composition of the NFPL, which according to the NFA has so far attracted 14 of the 16 clubs that made up the excommunicated Namibia Premier League last season.

"We extended an invitation to those clubs that were not there when we constituted the league. They indicated that they would respond in the new year when they are back in office as they were closed for the festive season," Vries explained.

The NFPL executive felt it prudent to keep the door open to clubs that snubbed the first two invites.

Black Africa, Citizen, Young African, Civics, African Stars, Orlando Pirates, Blue Waters, Young Brazilians, Tura Magic, Mighty Gunners, Okahandja United, Life Fighters, Tigers and Julinho Sporting have all shown interest in joining the new league.

Unam and Eleven Arrows have not, while the applications of African Stars, Black Africa, Young Brazilians and Citizens carry asterisks given the divisions in those clubs.

"Once they have responded positively, then they will be issued with documentation to officially apply to the league," Vries said.

"If they don't [respond positively], then we will play with those that want to be part of the new league.

"We are not begging anybody. That must be very clear. We are inviting them, and give them an opportunity," he continued.

"Everybody has a chance to revisit previous decisions and see, is it good or bad and then you take a decision again if given the opportunity. "

The picture will become clearer next week, he said.

"The plan is to start all leagues simultaneously. The women have started with a bounce back tournament. The clubs are waiting for our final directive. They must have at least three to five weeks pre-season before kick off," said Vries.

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