Mar 28, 2013 Sports
By Rawle Welch
As the countdown continues to the April 12 Guyana Football Federation Electoral Congress, the respective constituents are busy on the campaign trail whipping up support from their particular constituencies – some promising future assistance, while others have been using persuasive tactics to attract votes.
The four candidates – Christopher Matthias, Ivan Persaud, whose name somehow was revealed belatedly, Alfred King and Aubrey Major – have been working feverishly to convince eligible voters to vote in support of them.
The question being asked is who of the four seems best suited to carry Guyana’s football forward and out of the abysss that it found itself in for over two decades, when the autocratic style of governance forced the corporate community, and to some extent the Government, to offer sparing support for the sport.
The mockery of inclusivity, the subtle acts of intimidation and the denial of voting rights to member affiliates, all took their toll on important stakeholders’ patience and support, that eventually dragged them away from the sport.
Even after Guyana’s most impressive showing ever in World Cup campaign, the business community still did not show up in large proportions and the common opinion was that it was so because of the Federation’s hazy past in terms of fairness and accountability.
The FIFA / CONCACAF team came and found favour in the aggrieved members whose voting rights were wrongfully denied, much to the consternation of the ruling body.
They had hoped that the visiting team would have instituted harsh penalties on those they felt had behaved rebellious and needed to be punished, but that did not happen, instead the opposite occurred, they were greeted with open arms like the Prodigal Son.
The manner in which the GFF controlled football over the past two decades resembled that of repressive regimes such as North Korea, where saying anything in public against the state is prohibited.
Many affiliates spoke of being marginalised and neglected because of their challenge against the hierarchy and what occurred next was little or no development. The absence of development could be seen in the lack of representation on the national teams, a point that was emphasised by no other than the former Technical Director.
It must be remembered that there are many who served in the administration then and are still present in the current setup. There must be a heavy price paid for hiding the facts from the Guyanese public, the administration must be held to account for the monies accrued for the shifting of the Mexico game, while an explanation must be given on how the entity allowed such a large debt to amount.
These are questions that must be answered before April 12, failing which the voters must react via the ballot. The truth and nothing but the truth must be told and it must start with accountability which when disregarded will ultimately impinge on integrity, before chaos steps in.
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