Mar 29, 2013 Sports
When the football fraternity convenes for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and election of office bearers on April 12 next, though only one individual could ascend to the prestigious Presidential seat, four aspirants, all with grandiose plans and objectives, would be optimistic that the electorate would peruse their respective manifestoes and subsequently bequeath them with the requisite mandate to take the sport to another (positive) level.
Those four individuals are Christopher Matthias, Aubrey ‘Shanghai’ Major, Alfred King and Ivan Persaud and each of them would have qualified after being nominated and then seconded by affiliated clubs. It means that regardless of who clinches the top spot, the administrative input of the others can still be an asset to future developmental plans.
President of the Alpha Football Club, Odinga Lumumba, shares this view and said that unless there is a genuine, concerted and unified effort by all the aspirants to foster developmental changes, football will continue to wallow in mediocrity irrespective of who clinches the Presidential seat.
The Alpha United President analyzed the current situation during an exclusive interview with Kaieteur Sport and attempted a forensic analysis of the impending elections and the concomitant results.
He said that the incoming President must be prepared to assess the situation and accept the cold hard fact that of all the other football nations, Guyana ranks among the worst in terms of organization and administration of the sport and have a poor track record at international competitions.
The Alpha boss also feels that all four aspirants possess traits that, once applied, could rectify this anomaly and aid in the advancement of the sport and change the fortunes of local ball weavers.
Lumumba also examined the individual prospects and their possible inputs and said that while King’s integrity is impeccable, he lacks the requisite leadership abilities. In contrast to this view, King has been at the helm of the Referee’s Association and his leadership skills have influenced another term when that group hosted elections recently.
“I am aware of that,” said Lumumba, “However, leadership of a small group pales in comparison to what is needed at the level of the GFF,” he asserts. Furthermore, Lumumba is adamant that the new President must be able to attract the type of corporate support to facilitate a majestic international take off of the sport and he is not certain King has that ability.
Lumumba also extends the view that Mathias stands a great chance of clinching the post. “He has football development in his heart and has demonstrated great leadership skills,” affirmed Lumumba. However, amidst such glowing traits, Lumumba feels that Matthias can be intolerant of contrasting perspectives and differing views.
Lumumba touted Major as a great organizer with remarkable fund raising ability. He feels that such skill could be an asset to the top office considering the challenges experienced by the sport. “His biggest challenge will be to relinquish all associations with the Kashif and Shanghai football organization so that he could function impartially,” opined Lumumba.
Earlier, Mr. Major had conformed to such principles after admitting that there will be overtures of conflict of interest. “Major must strive to resolve the bothering issues between the K&S organization and the Georgetown Football Association (GFA),” said Lumumba.
He said that Persaud is a decent individual with unquestionable integrity. The Alpha boss also lauded Persaud’s vast knowledge of the sport while pointing out that he rises above his competitors in this department. He however, admits that such traits might be inadequate to secure the presidency.
“Yes, he has a tremendous résumé and has had a lot of exposure to the game both nationally and internationally but I am not certain whether he has been able to convince the electorate that he is the man for the job,” posits Lumumba.
Lumumba further said that while he cannot vouch for Persaud’s ability to foster unity in the football fraternity nor can he support the view that this aspirant has shrewd fund raising ability, his elevation would be regarded as a breath of fresh air.
Notwithstanding, his evaluations, Lumumba is adamant that the answer to the leadership issue rests in the aspirants’ ability to come together as a unit for the good of the game. “To my mind, despite their individual expertise, none of the aspirants possess all of the necessary traits and skills to foster the kind of development necessary for the advancement of the sport,” posits Lumumba.
He admits that the statutes are not conducive to a shared governance model but said that all four aspirants could convene, arrive at a general consensus on a division of labour structure that enables all to have an input in the progression of the sport.
“These are four good men, all with football development deep in their hearts; fundamentally, none is stronger than the other but a unified force could facilitate a smooth transition process, eliminate controversy and restore the integrity of the game,” explains Lumumba.
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