WINDHOEK – Namibia international goalkeeper Virgil Vries yesterday strongly rubbished a report by South African football magazine Soccer Laduma that claimed the Namibian had gone AWOL and his club Kaizer Chiefs has no idea of his whereabouts.
The Soccer Laduma report had social media abuzz with mixed reactions locally and internationally, but Vries yesterday moved swiftly to quickly squash the morbid hype and set the record straight, saying the report by the South African magazine was “far from the truth and has malicious intent”.
Soccer Laduma claimed Vries was nowhere to be seen on the Amakhosi bench as they reached the Telkom Knockout semi-finals via a 1-0 victory over SuperSport United on Saturday, claiming that the 29-year-old had gone AWOL.
Vries was lauded for his efforts in the previous round of the tournament as he saved two penalties against Black Leopards to secure Chiefs a spot in last weekend’s quarterfinals.
Soccer Laduma yesterday claimed that the Namibian has not been training with Chiefs these past few days and for that reason, coach Giovanni Solinas was forced to use Bruce Bvuma as Itu Khune’s deputy for Saturday’s encounter with SuperSport United.
Countering Soccer Laduma’s report, Vries maintained that he had not gone AWOL but was on paternity leave, which was granted with the full blessings of the club. Vries had in fact yesterday already returned to training with Chiefs and is expected to be part of this weekend’s action.
“I don’t want to comment much on the report because my club is busy with them (Soccer Laduma) and I was asked not to indulge in this stuff,” briefly said Vries. Chiefs are also expected to issue a statement to that effect and hopefully provide more clarity.