By Michael Benjamin
The Fruta Conquerors Football Club (FCFC) is one of the more popular on the national front but has been undergoing
fluctuating fortunes in tournaments. The club’s administration has initiated some changes to its structures resulting in a different coach taking over the mantle among other initiatives.
This move has produced positive results and only recently the club was crowned champion of the Georgetown Football Association (GFF) Stag Beer League after several victories that culminated with a decisive 6-1 victory over Pele FC.
President of that club, Wayne Forde, credits the achievement to hard work of his players and executives coupled with a staunch club structure that addresses the development of the players at all levels.
Notwithstanding, a club could only be as good as the programmes and projections of its executives and by extension, those executives can only function within the purview of the objectives of the ruling football body, in this case, the Guyana Football Federation (GFF).
Having agreed to this sentiment, Mr. Forde is adamant that the regularization of the sport is of utmost importance. He admitted that football has experienced debilitating fortunes recently and with the installment of the Normalization Committee, is at an important and decisive juncture. “FIFA’s intervention (through the installment of the Normalization Committee) is indeed timely because there was no indication that we were moving forward as a football family,” posits Mr. Forde.
That apart, Mr. Forde said that the debacle could be regarded as a national embarrassment and exposes the inability of local football administrators to foster unity among the rank and file.
Mr. Forde said that the problems existing in Guyana’s football are certainly not isolated since many other territorial associations/federations are experiencing similar challenges.
“To my mind, maturity of the principals is what sets the other entities apart in resolving their conflicts,” posited Mr. Forde. He blamed the uncompromising stance of local football executives as well as some affiliates as the catalyst to the current imbroglio.
“Too many of our administrators assume postures that suggest it’s either their way or no way and we will not move forward if we adapt such behaviors,” explained the Fruta Conquerors President.
It is because of such behaviors that Mr. Forde endorses the intervention of the Normalization Committee. “To my mind we have no other choice but to be optimistic that they will be successful in this difficult task before them,” he said.
Mr. Forde admits that the administration of local football is no simple matter, saying that it is a very technical undertaking. He said that it would be unrealistic for anyone to expect the Normalization Committee to fully understand the complexities and inner workings of the sport. “My expectation is that they (Normalization Committee) will consult with the many stakeholders and seek their input in this matter,” Forde exhorted.
Really, this is a moot point since during a meeting with members of the media the two-man delegation (FIFA), Marco Leal and Primo Corvaro, had intimated that FIFA had taken steps to regularize activities in the sport and that the NC would engage all stakeholders in addressing the imbroglio.
They had clearly stated that the committee would not be reversing any decision made by the Matthias administration. Pivotal to the arrangement also was that none of the members of the NC would be eligible for occupation of any of the administrative positions when elections are eventually held.
Developments have taken an interesting twist after it was stated that the NC is currently in possession of requests from three key football entities for yearend tournaments. These include the GFA, Upper Demerara Football Association and the Kashif and Shanghai organization.
Mr. Forde feels that this is indeed an interesting development that has thrown the cat among the pigeons. He said that his club has never shown any particular preference regarding the tournament it competes in but relies on the guidance of the ruling football body and they are prepared to conform to the majority consensus.
That apart, Forde said that football development must continue and his club will press on with its developmental agenda. He pointed out that his club is one of the few that places heavy emphasis on its youth development programme.
“I say without fear of contradiction that the Fruta Conquerors FC has the ability to field a team of competent players at any level; from the Under-13 right up to the seniors,” Forde pronounced.
For now the club’s administrators are getting ready to start some major infrastructural works which include the construction of a bleacher as well as improved lighting at their Tucville Ground.
“While the Normalization Committee addresses its tasks, the Fruta Conquerors will continue its developmental agenda so that when that group has completed its work we will be ready to address our continued development,” exhorted Mr. Forde.
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