Jan 22, 2014 Sports
By Michael Benjamin
Despite the recent decision taken by officials of the (GFF), at a recently staged Extraordinary Congress, to sanction several members of the Upper Demerara Football Association (UDFA), officials of the latter group have ignored the order and have recently unveiled a calendar of activities that would keep players from that region busy for the rest of the year.
They are currently preparing a document to unveil the fixtures and dates for the impending league and from all appearances, enjoy support of the clubs in that region.
President of the UDFA, Sharma Solomon, travelled to the Capital City yesterday afternoon where he hosted a press conference at the Critchlow Labour College, Woolford Avenue, to brief media representatives of issues arising out of the GFF decision and plans for the future of football in the region.
He said that though there has been much in the media surrounding sanctions on him and other members of his organization, he is still to be officially informed by officials of the GFF.
All of the other executive members of the UDFA, excluding Assistant Secretary Treasurer, Wayne Bethune and Committee Member Clyde Brushe, joined their President to debunk the ruling of the GFF to sanction the entire UDFA, Mr. Solomon and Vice President (GFF), Collie Hercules, for what the ruling body refers to as blatant contravention of a directive of the General Council to desist from staging the finals of the UDFA/GT Beer Knockout Competition on Jan 1 last.
The captains of the participating clubs were also present at the function. Mr. Solomon said that until he receives correspondence confirming the sanction, he will not react to it. However he clearly outlined the position of his organization, “The UDFA challenges the reckless and unconstitutional means by which the decision of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) was arrived at.” He said that the entire process is riddled with violations of the rules that guide the conduct of the business of the GFF.
The UDFA President said that since the Executive members of the UDFA were never charged nor were they summoned before a disciplinary committee, the ruling constitutes a major infraction of the rules of the GFF and the right to be heard, based on Article 56 of the GFF constitution, was not observed.
He referred to a letter penned by General Secretary (GFF), Noel Adonis, accusing UDFA Executives of gross misconduct and pointed out that they (UDFA) were already deemed guilty though there has been no inquiry nor has any Executive of the UDFA been summoned to a disciplinary hearing.
Mr. Solomon quoted Article 19 of the GFF which mandates that only a duly convened Congress has the authority to make such decisions and even so, at least one third of the members must support such actions and this must be done in writing.
The UDFA President is adamant that the recently convened Congress did not confirm to the requirements of the constitution and as such any ruling emanating from the forum is null and void.
He refers to the Congress as a mere ‘gaff’ which has no basis in law. “What has been done over the period for the summoning of the Congress did not confirm to the requirements of the constitution and in one case, GFF Vice President, Ivan Persaud, wrote to the General Secretary requesting he be advised who gave the authority for the summoning of an Extraordinary Congress but no response was given to the gentleman,” said Mr. Solomon.
This issue arose after the GFA and the UDFA decided to host their finals on January 1 last with Congress directing the latter group to postpone its fixture for another date. Mr. Solomon pointed out that he had attended a meeting with officials of the GFF in late November last year and they had settled on a four point arrangement which agreed among other things that both groups could stage their tournament on the same date (Jan 1) and later on they would flesh out a formula that would determine the host venue based on a bidding scheme among other issues.
Mr. Solomon further pointed out that the UDFA is about to dispatch a letter to the GFF General Secretary calling on his Executive to institute disciplinary charges against Mr. Odinga Lumumba on the grounds that he has moved a Congress to discriminate against representatives of the UDFA on the grounds of political affiliation.
The UDFA President is adamant that vile forces are at work to undermine the sport in the region. “It is the same vindictive party politics that wants to determine Linden football; the same vindictive party politics which has unleashed a structured and sustained programme to destroy the economic well-being of the people of Linden that resulted in K&S final moving to the Providence Stadium; it is the same programme of economic marginalization that is being applied to UDFA to deny them the right to hold their own tournament and have their finals on 1st January,” ranted Mr. Solomon even as he vowed to continue addressing the programmes to foster the growth of young footballers.
He said that his executives view the recent move by Congress as a deliberate act to undermine the economy of Linden and more so deny the residents an eagerly anticipated event. Based on this, Mr. Solomon remains fixed in his decision, “The UDFA has taken a decision that they would run their own competition in Linden exclusively with their clubs for the benefit of the players and the community,” he declared.
“We know those whose arms are long, spiteful and vindictive but we hope they will take note and seek to correct their intransigence, rather than coming to harm the leaders, their families and those who support them; we demand justice as we pursue a just cause,” concluded the UDFA President.
Guyanese you are being prostituted by your politicians!
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