Sep 13, 2009 Sports
– Satisfied with National League’s start
By Rawle Welch
“Within a week’s time we will make the announcement of who is the Contractor that had successfully won the bid to commence construction of the GOAL Project,” Guyana Football Federation President Colin Klass told Kaieteur Sport last Friday, during an interview.
Klass said that during the recent visit by FIFA Development Officer for CONCACAF Harold Taylor to launch the FIFA funded ‘Win in CONCACAF with CONCACAF’ National League, he took the opportunity to unseal the bids and choose the Contractor so after the announcement is made, the commencement of work on the site at Orangestein, East Bank Essequibo will depend on how fast the Contractor could mobilise his team of workers.
Commenting on the Project, the GFF Head disclosed that the man in charge of administering the venture FIFA Development Officer Keith Lok Loy has already written to the world governing body and gained its approval for the first of two disbursements to be released.
This first phase of the Project which will cost US$400,000 is expected to include an international size football playing field, dressing rooms for teams, referees’ rooms and a dormitory to accommodate at least one team.
The second phase which will have to be re-approved will cost US$600,000 which is to expand the existing facilities and enhance the stadium’s international image.
National League – Klass said that Lok Loy pointed out that he was satisfied with the opening, but stated two concerns, which were (1) matches starting after the stipulated time and (2) the encroachment of fans on the field of play.
According to Klass, they are now looking at ways to rectify those observations made by Lok Loy, adding that because they had become part of our culture, a special effort is needed to eradicate such behaviour.
“We will be working with the various associations to help eliminate these bothersome developments as well as a few other teething problems that arose. However, as is the case with anything new, that is expected,” Klass explained.
As for himself, Klass said that he was not present for the opening ceremony, but from all the reports gathered, they seem to indicate that everything went reasonably well so he too is satisfied.
Asked whether everything is in place to handle what could be described as the real test this weekend, he assured that they’ve put all their resources out to cater for any eventuality.
“Because we were central in the first week, it did not give us the kind of testing that could have truly signified our readiness, but with matches slated for at least four venues this weekend, it will provide the real test for us and hopefully we will pass with flying colours,” he pondered.
Commenting on the importance of the League, Klass opined it is a blessing for football in Guyana something that is really needed to boost the game’s development.
He said for years, persons have been complaining about our lack of progress at the international level, but they must also remember that countries such as Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago have had such Leagues for a long time so they are consistently playing at a higher level than us.
All arms in place – The GFF President revealed that in keeping with his earlier pronouncement that all arms to take the sport forward to accommodate a National League will be in place, this has been done.
“I’m happy to report that the Administrative, Coaching, Referees and Match Commissioners Courses have all been conducted with only the Marketing Programme outstanding and this will be done shortly.
He added that as a follow up, the GFF has also included ‘A Basic Management of Injuries’ Course for clubs so that all concerned could have an increased knowledge of how to care for certain injuries players might sustain. Apart from that, he said that their aim is make it an ongoing process so that as much persons as possible could benefit and have full understanding of all the areas.
Meanwhile, prizes for the winners of the National League have been announced.The winning team will receive $1million, runner-up $500,000, 3rd placed-$300,000 and 4th placed- $200,000, while the Most Valuable Player will get an airline ticket to any Caribbean destination compliments of Caribbean Airlines along with other prizes. Other awards will go to Best Goalkeeper, Highest Goal-scorer and Fair Play. Each team will also be given eight balls approved by FIFA. The Women’s League will also start this month with one team allotted per association.
Klass said that with the prohibitive cost to bring teams from far flung areas, they’ve had to restrict the teams to one from each association.
The GFF is yet to decide on whether it will be cash or kind for the respective winners, but assured that there will be prizes.
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