FIFA intervene as GFF, GFA reach agreement
During private meetings held at the Pegasus Hotel yesterday, officials representing Guyana Football Federation (GFF), Georgetown Football Association (GFA), CONCACAF and FIFA agreed to a set of statutes that should see an end to the long-standing dispute.
Acting President, Franklin Wilson and General Secretary, Noel Adonis represented GFF while GFA President, Vernon Burnett and General Secretary, Christopher Matthias, carried their position into the meetings and according to an official press release coming out of the closed-door meetings, “agreed to move beyond their past
grievances under CONCACAF and FIFA recommended provisions”.
“In an effort to regenerate an environment of trust, we are in accordance with the resolutions rendered today provided all parties comply with the agreement. We thank CONCACAF and FIFA for coming to Guyana in order to re-establish a good atmosphere and cooperation among all football stakeholders,” Wilson is quoted as stating in the release.
“We very much welcome this intervention. In the interest of the development of the game, GFA would like to contribute to football by agreeing to the developmental proposals made by FIFA and CONCACAF in this agreement,” Burnett said.
Under the terms of the agreement, the following points have been accorded by both parties, where each party respectively undertakes the following responsibilities:
1. GFA agrees to permanently withdraw all legal actions lodged before the ordinary Courts of Guyana against the GFF by 14 January 2013;
2. GFF agrees to immediately reinstate all membership rights to the GFA upon withdrawal of all aforementioned legal actions;
3. Upon the signing of this Agreement, GFA agrees to offer to reinstate all membership rights to Alpha United FC, Western Tigers FC and Pele FC. The aforementioned clubs will be granted until 16 January 2013 to accept reinstatement and to make nominations for the upcoming GFA Executive Committee elections;
4. GFA agrees to hold an Electoral Congress on 19 January 2013 for the election of its Executive Committee and that such Congress will be monitored by the GFF;
5. GFF agrees to hold its annual Ordinary Congress by 15 April 2013, at which elections for its Executive Committee will be held;
6. GFF shall take all necessary steps to create as soon as possible, but no later than 31 January 2013, an Electoral Commission comprised of 3 independent persons to oversee and supervise its electoral process in accordance with the principles of the FIFA Standard Electoral Code. Such nomination will be confirmed by FIFA;
7. GFA agrees to reimburse to GFF all reasonable expenses associated to the May 2011 annual Ordinary Congress, upon presentation of the respective invoices. In case of dispute in relation to the relevance of a presented invoice, the matter will be submitted to FIFA and CONCACAF for a decision;
8. GFF agrees that it will offset all amounts owed to the GFA from the aforementioned expenses linked to the May 2011 annual Ordinary Congress;
9. GFF and GFA acknowledge that recourse to ordinary courts is prohibited under the provisions of FIFA, CONCACAF and GFF Statutes and expressly guarantee not to seek such recourse to ordinary courts to settle their disputes in the future. GFF and GFA are aware of the potential sanctions that could be imposed by FIFA and CONCACAF in case of breach of the aforementioned provision.
The Agreement will be submitted to FIFA for review and endorsement. FIFA and CONCACAF will work together with the soon to be elected GFF Executive Committee in order to ensure the proper implementation of the governance and judicial principles contained in the GFF Statutes.
Given that all associations should conform to the FIFA Statutes, both international governing bodies have made clear that any future infringement will not be tolerated and further actions will be taken in accordance with FIFA and CONCACAF Statues in the case this agreement is not fulfilled.
The CONCACAF and FIFA officials have also held meetings with all nine GFF regional associations and a delegation of the Guyana National Team in order to include all stakeholders involved in the decisions that took place during the official visit. An early-morning meeting with the Minister of Sports, Dr. Frank Anthony, to talk about the development of the sport in Guyana moving forward was also held.