The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport Inter-Block football competition is set to brake new ground today even though the Guyana Football Federation has pulled referees affiliated to the Guyana Football Referees Council from officiating in the government run programme.
Grove and Mocha Arcadia are set to kick off Inter-Block activities today against the back drop of a ruling by the GFRC that referees found officiating in the tournament will be disciplined.
However, Parliamentary Secretary in the ministry Steve Ninvalle declared that the Inter-Block competition will continue with or without the support of the GFF or GFRC since it is now clear that there is an aspiration to derail government’s effort.
He added that both GFF and GFRC seem confused about their respective roles but that the ministry still hopes that good sense will prevail.
Ninvalle explained that in July he was advised by Alfred King, President of the GFRC, that the ministry only needs to write him to have referees officiate in the Inter-Block programme.
A letter was immediately dispatched to King followed up by a telephone call where approval was given. According to Ninvalle everything went smoothly from then onwards until last month when he received a letter from GFF president Colin Klass.
In the letter Klass stated that the ministry had made an error in seeking approval from King and should instead write to the GFF.
Since then the GFRC has sent out letters to referees warning them against officiating in the tournament, which aims at fostering camaraderie among communities and upgrade the sport at the grassroots level.
“The question is who will suffer from such pettiness. Are we really serious about the development of football or serious about stifling it,” Ninvalle asked.
Meanwhile, six teams will participate in the Grove competition which kicks off from 10:00am today at the Grove Playfield. Squatter Area will play Caneville in the lone game. The competition will be of a Seven-A-Side nature.
Over in Mocha, Barnwell North will clash with Burnham Boulevard starting at 3:00pm. First Street will face Second Street in the second match, while New Settlers will come up against Nelson Street in the final match this evening.
Since its commencement in March this year, the Ministry’s Inter-Block competition has been played in Beterverwagting, Victoria, Ann’s Grove, Agricola, Buxton, Mahdia, Plaisance, Lethem and Pouderoyen. Over 700 persons have participated.
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