Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Napsa Stars Coach Fathi Looking Forward to July Restart


Coach Mohamed Fathi hopes Napsa Stars can continue from where they left off in March following confirmation that the 2019/2020 FAZ Super Division will restart next month.

Republican President Edgar Lungu on June 25 disclosed in his bi-monthly Covid-19 address that sporting activities, including football, had been given a green light to resume after three months of quarantine due to the pandemic.

Matches are expected to resume behind closed doors under strict guidelines from the Ministry of Health.

“I think it is a very good move by the President to motivate us to finish our job and we thank him very much,”Fathi said.

“We also appreciate FAZ’s efforts to see that the league finishes as every club will now have to express themselves up to the end.”

With nine games left to play, Napsa will return to action in second place with 45 points, one behind Forest Rangers after 25 and 24 games played respectively.

First and second place finishers qualify for the CAF Champions League while three and four will earn tickets to the CAF Confederation Cup.

“Our target is to play continental and book a top four position. We know what we are supposed to do and we will continue from where we ended at quarantine,” Fathi said.

Meanwhile, FAZ has proposed that teams should resume full team training two weeks before the league restarts.

Teams have currently been restricted to individual training during the lockdown that began in mid-March.
Fathi said he also welcomes the provisional law that allows an extra two substitutes during the pandemic lockdown due to the lack of match fitness.

“I think three or weeks will be good for us but if you look at Europe, despite their facilities, they know the challenges they have and that is why they have increased the substitutes to five because some players, especially midfielders and strikers, will not be 100 percent in this short period,” Fathi said.

“I hope it will be the same for us but after four, five games, I believe they will be back to full fitness.”


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