Oct 24, 2014 Sports
By Rawle Welch
It is now on record that former Guyana Football Federation (GFF) President Christopher Matthias has been removed from the helm of football in this country and a five-member Normalisation Committee is to be announced shortly to take his place and run the affairs of the sport here.
FIFA/CONCACAF representatives that included Head of Associations Primo Corvaro and Legal Affairs Director Marco Leal made the disclosure on Tuesday last during a Press Briefing, at the Pegasus Hotel.
In addition to the declaration of Matthias’ exit, the officials also announced that constitutional reforms and the day to day running of the GFF will be executed by the five-member Committee endorsed by FIFA/CONCACAF and who will enjoy the same powers as the previous executive.
Many believe that the move by the two international governing bodies could not have come sooner since Guyana’s football after enjoying its best World Cup qualifying campaign in 2013/14 has slipped back into the abyss and heading towards certain death.
The two gentlemen were, however, quick to point out that Matthias’ removal should not be interpreted as a punishment of sorts, but rather as the best possible option to move the sport forward following bitter acrimony during his tenure that created a vacuum thereby obstructing the development of the sport.
This view by FIFA/CONCACAF simply cannot be challenged, the two Bodies did exhibit tremendous patience and tolerance with our football administrators, wasting time and money to send down high level officials to adjudicate and advise in our ongoing mess, but to no avail so it was time to act and act definitively which they did.
While some might be tempted to feel sorry for the former President since from the onset of his tenure he was forced to work with individuals who did not emanate from his slate and therefore exhibited little or no desire to cooperate with him, he too must share some of the blame for the predicament that the sport has found itself in.
Matthias failed to forge alliances with important stakeholders both home and abroad and it is the feeling by many had he done so the outcome might have been different.
Why did he not seek the advice of his CFU, CONCACAF and FIFA colleagues, having attended a few Congresses and Meetings after entering office with little administrative experience at the national level?
There is strong reason to believe that had he engaged those offices seriously to assist him he might have survived, but his departure seems to suggest that inexperience and his inability to forge alliances cost him the job.
Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) is currently undergoing a similar exercise, but it is being labeled a Constitutional Reform Process and it was its President Raymond Tim Kee, who wrote the same two Bodies requesting help in certain areas and they agreed to assist.
It must be noted that Corvaro and Leal along with another CONCACAF official Reudi Broennimann are in the Twin Island Republic offering their expertise to a process that is similar to that which is being undertaken here, but the difference is that Tim Kee will join them.
There must have been a lot of rejoicing in the opposition’s camps following Matthias’ exodus, but what is certain is that FIFA/CONCACAF seem determined to get it right this time or let Guyana face the full brunt of punishment for its insubordination should it continue following the completion of work by the Normalisation Committee in September 2015.
Corvaro made it clear that anyone who attempts to fight the process will be shown no mercy and while it is hoped that the work of the Committee will not be impeded, but embraced for the ‘Good of the Game’, Guyana’s recent history of possessing administrators’ with uncaring and selfish attitudes is well documented among FIFA/CONCACAF.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating; let us see if over the next 11 months our football administrators could demonstrate the level of maturity and care that would allow the sport to breathe fresh air.
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