Nov 12, 2008 Sports
Senior football team angry after perceived deception by GFF President
Two of Guyana’s daily’s yesterday reported that the entire senior national football team retired from international play following their final match in this year’s Digicel Caribbean Cup Championship in Trinidad early Monday morning.
Following an e-mail from the players, Kaieteur Sport called GFF President Colin Klass’s cell phone but it rang out so we were unable to get a response from him. Another daily however reported that he stated he did not know of the players’ action.
Kaieteur Sport contacted one of the players who gave us some details on the issues. At this point we will not name the player but will relate the information he revealed to this newspaper.
From all indications Mr. Klass’ alleged deception in dealing with the players has been the key to their present reaction. He made several promises which he failed to keep and when asked, shifted blame which the team found out was not true and they reacted. Money owed to the team is also another one of the key factors in this current fiasco.
The player, who was one of the starters in the team stated, “This is a very serious matter and as a player I can tell you this is no joke! ….I was present for everything that happened.”
“Players, coaches and staff were promised by Mr. Klass, himself, proper training gear and pay for the Digicel Championship camp and games in Trinidad. These promises were not met!
“In fact Mr. Klass despite all of his great speeches and promises to us before and during the Digicel Championship Round in Trinidad was not man enough to tell the team that he failed to live up to his talk, and attempted to leave the hotel at 3:00 am to return to Guyana leaving the players, coaches and staff in the dark about his failed promises! This is when we confronted him outside the hotel (the entire team).”
Reports emanating from the Twin-Island Republic stated that Klass was very close to being physically accosted by the angry players, but one member managed to talk his fellow players out of causing any bodily harm to the GFF official.
The story becomes more interesting as the player disclosed, “Mr. Klass attempted to put the blame on other members of staff including our manager and our coaches. We then called our manager down to the lobby at 3:15 am and then Klass’s story started to change. He said he had no knowledge of these issues…. In short we as a team caught him in lies… He is a liar and we will not stand for it anymore!
“Players from the first round of the Digicel Cup months back have still not been paid to date… Klass is full of empty promises! It is not an instant thing… We as a team had major problems with the World Cup qualifiers in August…”
Going back to the World Cup qualifier, the player made this observation to the GFF Boss, “And I will leave you with this…as the President of the GFF… Do not show up to “our” WORLD CUP QUALIFIER wearing other countries game jerseys!!! We play our hearts out on the field for our country! Show respect!”
The player further noted that, “Guyana as a whole would have been proud to watch our players take it to Trinidad despite being knocked out the Digicel Championship on Sunday. This is a squad that can do amazing things on the field… but we are finished as long as he (Klass) continues to remain in office.”
Kaieteur Sport will continue to follow this development. But it must now be left to the imagination whether maybe Pandora’s Box has been opened. Only time will tell. This is indeed sad for football and action must be taken swiftly to sort out this matter and the many other related issues that have plagued this sport now and in the past.
FIFA has a policy of no outside intervention to fix a problem within football, but when an entire team resigns in protest of a leading member of an executive, it is wondered whether FIFA will mediate or who will sort this mess out?
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