By Rawle Welch
After two failed attempts to hold its Extraordinary Congresses many are of the opinion that it is time FIFA step in and appoint a Normalisation Committee to replace the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) which seems incapable of advancing football in the country.
The incumbent President of the GFF Christopher Matthias, who was elected in April 2013 following a FIFA / CONCACAF mandated Electoral Congress which had in attendance high ranking officials from both organizations, has failed to gain the necessary support from certain associations affiliated to the Federation to advance the sport.
His failure to garner the support of certain unhappy members has resulted in local football experiencing a crisis of sorts which has ultimately splintered the much needed equilibrium that any sport should enjoy in its pursuit of progress.
Despite a few local competitions being played here and there, the fact that football is being played without the necessary blessings and oversight by the local governing body and the absence of organizational structure means that the national programme will be severely hampered with the evidence of those earlier mentioned tenets clearly manifested by the quality of the national team that was selected to represent this country in the CFU Caribbean Cup.
This team has to be one of the poorest ever assembled to represent Guyana in any senior competition for decades and while the possibility of a positive result is not unattainable, no one could dispute the fact that this team, apart from the experienced wing back Walter Moore, severely lacks international familiarity and pedigree and this could see us struggle against even the weakest territories in the Caribbean.
The football landscape is simply not bright with the warring factions clearly intent on promoting their personal agendas ahead of the development of the game and their schemes became daringly visible in front of the FIFA / CONCACAF officials who were present on both occasions when the Congresses were embarrassingly aborted.
According to many observers, the actions taken at both Congresses were interpreted as being upsetting and more directly disrespectful to the visiting officials who came here with a mandate to ensure that the process was clean and free of interference.
The current situation has caused several stakeholders who played major roles in helping to develop the game to lose confidence and this new development is severely affecting the sport’s forward propulsion so much so that it recently forced one team owner to lament about the lack of support for his club despite its past and current achievements.
That owner should have known that as long as the Federation and its members remain in war mode the business community will not be encouraged to offer its support for fear of lack of accountability and other related negative effects caused by the continued conflict within the fraternity.
The advent of a Normalisation Committee to manage the daily affairs of the GFF must be given enough time to introduce mechanisms for conflict resolution that is satisfactory to the football community and to enact fundamental principles that will assure the separation of powers among other much needed policies.
In fairness to FIFA / CONCACAF these two institutions have given Guyana enough time to restore order within the football fraternity and what the principal actors have done with this time is to continue to display contempt and disregard for the recommendations and statutes of the two governing Bodies and it is time that a heavy price be paid for the continuous lack of respect.
It might be the right time to install new faces in the administrative arm of the sport, those that have the genuine interest of the players at heart and not self aggrandizement.
With FIFA’s no nonsense stance of punishing those who attempt to obstruct the sport’s development many of actors who’re vying for office could fall under the hammer of the world governing body when it is proven that self interest was the sole motivating factor. FIFA / CONCACAF must act soon for the good of the game and its participants.
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