-Tourney meets vision of engaging Guyana – Mahadeo
By Franklin Wilson
The male winner of the inaugural GT&T FastBall knock-out football tournament will walk away with the first place prize of One Million Dollars apart from promotional credit for the entire team on August 7 at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.
Dubbed ‘Not just football, it’s Fastball’, the tournament which has taken Guyana by storm has seen well over one hundred games contested to date throughout the length and breadth of Guyana.
Yesterday, the main sponsor GT&T hosted a press conference to update the media on the progress of the competition.
CEO Yog Mahadeo stated that progress has been very exciting ever since the opening which took place at the Mackenzie Sports Club Ground a few weeks ago. It was noted that 207 teams started the competition.
Teams in the various zones are battling for spots in the final round of 32 which will start on Sunday July 24 at the Mackenzie Sports Club Ground, Linden. All the teams advancing to this stage of the competition will be rewarded; specific details will be published shortly.
Mahadeo, who shared yesterday’s briefing with Guyana Football Federation Secretary Noel Adonis, GT&T Finance Controller Royston Rachpaul, PRO Nadia De Abreu and Kashif Muhammad stated that the tournament really reaches the vision and goals that were set before the start of the tournament.
“That is to engage Guyana in a playoff that would spread from the grassroots across the country to the grassroots in the city, involving the corporate and every organisation you can think of. You look at those numbers involved and you see that our vision and objectives are being achieved because you get people being involved.”
Given the resounding success at the start of the tournament in Linden, Mahadeo announced that GT&T has a surprise package in the pipeline to thank Linden; this surprise will be announced in one week’s time he informed.
Mahadeo, whose brainchild it was to have such an innovative tournament also mentioned the many learning experiences they would have had in relation to the competition so far.
“We have lots of prizes, giveaways and memorabilia that have already been passing down to the fans and spectators amounting to over one million so far and we will continue to maintain this as we give back to our people.”
Rachpaul in his remarks stated that over 40 million dollars was allocated for the tournament and to date over almost 30 million would have been expended. He made the disclosure that One Million cash is at stake for the winner apart from other prizes including promotional credit; $500,000 will be awarded to the losing finalist apart from other prizes and promotional credit while prizes and promotional credit will be handed out to teams from the round of 32.
Rachpaul also mentioned the plethora of talent that is on show at the various games around Guyana.
“Great talent that is not exposed in the regular tournaments has been on show so far and we are excited about this. The skills are really great and I think Guyana has so much more to gain from this tournament. The level of play, commitment and discipline of these players has been wonderful to date.”
He informed that the total prize package will be published shortly while informing that apart from the football at the final on August 7, there will be an entertainment side of for the fans and players also.
“Right after the games we have a high quality entertainment package where we have confirmed Tarus Riley to entertain us. We are working on a couple more artistes who will perform for us and you will know when we confirm them.”
The response by female teams has not been too hot, only five (5) teams have registered and the organisers have made provision to have them play, these details will also be know shortly as well as the prize package for them.
GFF’s Noel Adonis complimented GT&T and the organisers for the fine job they have been doing and have accomplished to date stating that you can see and feel that FastBall has excited the interest and imagination of the various communities it has impacted to date.
“I have to say all over Guyana. We recognise that this has been a significant investment on the part of GT&T and all of the persons who have been involved and you get the impression you have already began to get some returns in terms of the satisfaction that is evident among the different communities, the quality of players apart.
The GFF is very pleased that this is happening, we recognised that FastBall is a combination of entertainment built around the rudiments and resources of football and it has value and significance.”
Muhammad also briefed the media on the progress and gave an update on his visit to Port Kaituma which he said was very successful and an interesting experience.
Port Kaituma prevailed over North West and has booked their place in the round-of-32. A number of zone finals will be contested this weekend, West Demerara, Berbice and East Bank among them.
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