Jan 19, 2014 Sports
By Michael Benjamin
Just when it was felt that football has reached an unprecedented low with ferocious in fighting and vicious rabbit punches, the situation has worsened when the General Congress, the highest decision making component of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), instituted sanctions on President of the Upper Demerara Football Association (UDFA), Sharma Solomon, his entire executives and second Vice President (GFF), Collie Hercules, when the GFF staged an Extraordinary Congress at their Dadanawa Street headquarters, Friday evening last.
Notwithstanding this directive, Mr. Solomon is adamant that the meeting was unconstitutional and a charade and he said that he has no intention of abiding by the ruling without a fight. He admitted that he had attended the forum but exited almost immediately based on the aforementioned beliefs.
It seems as though trouble was brewing way before the actual congress commenced with Mr. Hercules and his fellow Vice President (GFF), Ivan Persaud dispatching correspondences to the GFF executive labeling the forum as unconstitutional while requesting certain clarifications. Another Vice President, Rawle Adams, had earlier tendered his resignation but refused to divulge the reasons for his decision. When contacted, General Secretary (GFF), Noel Adonis, was very cagey and though admitting to the receipt of Adams’ correspondence, was adamant that this newspaper seek clarifications from the principal.
All this time, several letters were sent to the GFF and one of them, by Hercules, was leaked to Kaieteur Sport. The GFF Vice President wanted to know who requested that an extraordinary congress be staged. He maintained that based on the constitution, only the executive committee or at least one-third of congress can convene such a meeting. Mr. Hercules then requested a copy of the written request by the member associations.
Another Vice President, Ivan Persaud, also questioned the decision to host an Extraordinary Congress; he labeled this act a contravention of article 27 of the constitution. Mr. Persaud revealed that executives of the GFF had convened on January 10 last and the Linden issue where the General Council had advised against the staging of the Upper Demerara/GT Beer tournament had formed a part of the agenda. He said that a unanimous decision was taken to have the issue ventilated at the level of the Congress since it was that body that had mandated executives of the UDFA to desist from holding the tournament. Mr. Persaud said that he was shocked by the decision to sanction Hercules and Solomon even before adherence to due process.
Meanwhile, Mr. Solomon said that these are dangerous and trying times for the sport but his organization will continue to pursue their goal of football development. He said that contrary to accusations from some members of the GFF, the tournament under review, the recently staged UFDA/GT Beer competition, was legally conducted. He accused executives of the GFF of being short sighted with no plans or projections toward the game’s development. “My understanding was that the GFF executives were concerned that we were holding the finals on the stipulated date (January 1), not the actual staging of the tournament per se,” said Mr. Solomon.
He said that the ruling body, instead of castigating the executives of the UDFA, should take a page out of their book in their bid to develop football. “Our tournament was successfully run off among 14 teams and we have already paid out all monies and are in the process of submitting reports to the sponsors,” said Mr. Solomon. He also said that the GFF is still to emulate this act weeks after the completion of their tournament. “We are not prepared to accept nonsense from the GFF when they themselves are incapable of conducting their own affairs,” Mr. Solomon continued. He said that currently it is the secretariat that is conducting the affairs of the GFF and one ought not to be surprised by the quality of work emanating from that department.
The UDFA boss feels that the GFF executive should not have been so empowered as to exclude the wider executives from the decision making process. “The General Council should have been empowered to strengthen the administrative sector which would have allowed for a clearer vision or path which in extension would have allowed for strategic objectives and plans, all of which, unfortunately, does not exist,” pronounced Mr. Solomon. He boasted his unit has fashioned a 4 year strategic plan towards the development of the sport in the region, “which is more than I could say for the GFF,” pronounced Mr. Solomon.
The UDFA President concluded by tersely stating, “We will not relent from our mandate of promoting football in the region which is a clear directive of article 2 of the constitution of the UDFA,” he said.
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