From a historical perspective within our nation’s football, former president, Guyana Football Federation (GFF), Christopher Matthias will definitely have to be recorded as the only president ever of not completing his term of office on the two occasions he was elected to serve. In 2001 the individual had received a “vote of no-confidence for financial impropriety” as the President of the GFA, while in 2014 he was removed at the behest of FIFA, which in my estimation non – performance!
That the litany of woes administratively which was counter-productive to over all development; continued unabatedly, whereas the previous path left by Matthias’ predecessors, in relation to competitions/tournaments were virtually the same. The only difference was increasing the Premier League teams from 10-16. The out dated inter-association tournament(s) continued sparingly and in similar fashion associations participating without coordinating a tournament for its affiliates.
Editor, it would be remiss of me not to mention that prior to Matthias being elected as President, in April 2014. I had penned a letter indicating among other issues:
i) Regionalizing the sport, whereby a four member committee (minimum) would overlook the clubs, coordinating competitions et.al within the ten administrative regions of Guyana. This in actuality would have replaced the associations’ structure, thus enabling clubs to elect the executive of the GFF.
ii) Additionally club football would have ruled the roost, with club champions being decided at the under-11, U-13, U-15, U-17, U-19, U-21, U-23 and seniors. This would have been after each region had successfully completed their respective competitions.
iii) In relation to the National League, each region would be represented by its champion club, and the best six runners-up, which are also applicable to all other divisions. However, the only difference would be apart from playing over two rounds (home and away), a national first division (reserve) league consisting of 20 teams would be played. The top 2 clubs will automatically be promoted to the National League, with the bottom two securing automatic relegation.
iv)A cohesive allegiance between the Ministries of Culture, Youth & Sports. Education and Local Government, remains the catalyst that can be utilized towards establishing clubs’ nurseries programme, with each club adopting at least 2 schools, for both male and female! Non-adherence simply means non-affiliation. The first 2 named ministries would be of significant assistance in this endeavour.
v) As it relates to the Local Government Ministry. The N.D.C’s and the R.D.C’s can assist with the rehabilitation, maintenance and upgrading of grounds and Community Centres. Since the relevant machinery in most instances are at their disposal.
vi) Constitutionality: With FIFA’s pronouncement of a 5 member Normalization Committee, for a period of 11 months until September, 2015, automatically, all clubs, associations, affiliates and the GFF have ample time to have their respective constitutions in order. And definitely some teams will have to go, since “the days for carrying dead weight are over”!It would be better in the long term to have less clubs that are effectively and professionally administered; properly structured and highly competitive, in addition to its own training ground.
In the final analysis, regionalization of the sport will attract more sponsorship, competitions, competitiveness and the paying public. While sub-regions i.e. Region 4, due to its size will offer more qualifying slots for national competitions; in addition to other regions with a complete metamorphosis that football definitely needs at this crucial juncture, towards an infusion of modernization. “Gone must be days when 5-6 teams, lists the National Park ground, as it training venue, and no proper meeting place. Also, 2 clubs emanating from the same village, rather than having 1highly competitive club”!
“Never again in the history of local football, must the ill effects of democracy, allow any misfits to be elected by the will of the majority”. Moreover, when from the outset dishonesty prevails in the mindset of some presidential hopefuls along with their supporters, who are clueless, gutless, spineless and visionless, in relation to what development entails. Editor, for this simple reason after a period of 28 years (1982-2010) I severed ties with the sport’s administration at the club and association level!
In erstwhile I’m not rejoicing that FIFA’s intervention has removed Matthias, but rather the nation’s football has been rescued from the clutches of a rookie! Thank you FIFA, for your timely involvement.
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