Crafty Navua midfielder Melvin Mani will not feature in the 2023 Rooster Chicken/Scoops Premium Ice Cream Battle of the Giants tournament which gets underway at Prince Charles Park in Nadi tomorrow.
Coach Saiyad Ali confirmed to FijiLive that Mani returned to Labasa due to a family commitment after the completion of the Fiji FACT in early June.
The 20-year-old has since then not featured for the southerners upon the resumption of the Digicel Fiji Premier League.
“He’s still under a contract with Navua FA.”
“He lost his dad last year and he did tell us that he has gone to help his mother and siblings build their house in Labasa.”
“We have been in contact with him and we also understand his situation.”
Drawn in a tough Group A with Fiji FACT champs Lautoka, Tailevu Naitasiri and host team Nadi, Southern Forest Navua will open its campaign against the Blues at 3.30pm.
Navua squad: Jerry Kaitani (GK), Rinish (GK), Viliame Rakuro (GK), Simione Damuni, Jarred Rongosulia, Ajesh Chand, Alfred Ali, Thomas Dunn, Joseph Elder, Arami Manumanubhai, Brian Charitar, Jackson Wale, Vineet Chand, Isake Naduvu, Elvin Chand, Sunny Deol, Vinal Prasad, Jone Narab, Kolinio Sivoki, Matthew Charitar, Suliano Doli, Zainal Ali.