Shabazz sends open message to Guyana, calls for support
The Guyana national football team, the Golden Jaguars kick off their eagerly anticipated and historic 2014, third round, World Cup qualifier versus CONCACAF powerhouses Mexico on Friday evening at the Estadio Azteca, Mexico City and the teams pragmatic and inspirational national coach Jamaal Shabazz has used this opportunity to once more issue his consistent call for the nation to unify behind the team.
In his impassioned plea, Shabazz said:
“My people of Guyana it is now some days after this beautiful country celebrated its 46th anniversary of Independence and it is also some days before Guyana embark on a journey in world football that can serve the same purpose of our achievement of Independence back in 1966.
Back them the youthful Forbes Burnham, Cheddi Jagan, Peter D’Aguiar and so many others came together to fight for Guyana’s Independence. They were not overly concerned with who were Africans, Indians, Amerindians or even Portuguese. That was not as important as this mighty nation gaining its freedom from the British colonial master. Back then we were not even divided on the grounds of who were APNU, AFC or PPPC nor the tensions that go with such affiliations.”
“The need to raise the Golden Arrowhead took precedent of which individual as common Guyanese pseudonyms would refer them as – Buck, Coolie or Negro.”
“Today 46 years later it is taboo for a businessman in Guyana to publicly identify his political choice, so bitter is the political rivalry and division among our people.
Who put the Indians, the Africans and Amerindians against each other at a time when a young Independent nation was about to emerge and take charge of its political and economic destiny? Maybe we can summon the old British Colonial Masters from their graves to give us the answers.
But what is the relation between Independence, football and racial harmony among the Guyanese people? What is the relation between May 26, 1966 and November 11, 2011?
Both days has historic significance of what Guyana can achieve when we put aside the jacket of race, party and class differences.”
Shabazz continued; “On June 8 in Mexico, the Golden Jaguars will attempt to do what Burnham and Jagan did when they raised the Golden Arrowhead in 1966. Then again on June 12 at Providence Stadium we make an effort to bring our people together in our World Cup Qualifier against Costa Rica.
“Oh you children of Burnham, Jagan and our beloved Walter Rodney, I urge you to give spiritual and physical support to Guyana and the Golden Jaguars. It is not a football team that comes out of a world cup qualifying group it is a country. Let us make this journey as one united Guyana that roars like a Jaguar.”