By Zaheer Mohamed
The appointment of the new Technical Director (TD) of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) will be made in early January; this announcement was made yesterday at a press conference held by the Normalisation Committee (NC) at the GFF office to update the media of several developments. Speaking at the forum, chairman of the NC, Clinton Urling, said they recently
conducted interviews with an impressive bunch of individuals. “Folks from Romania, Canada, USA, England and Guyana applied and the announcement as to the successful candidate will be made in the first week in January 2015. The TD will be a highly qualified professional and will reside in Guyana. He will be responsible for coordinating Guyana’s entire technical football programme,” he added.
Urling is also the new chairman of the Referees Committee and the vice chairman is Trevor Beckles. Kareem Jones a former accountant of at Guyana Water Inc was appointed the director of finance.
The NC also briefed the media on plans for 2015, presented certificates and made monetary contributions to the Guyanese accredited 2015 FIFA international referees and assistant referees for their accomplishments.
The lone female referee is Maurice Skeete while others are Sherwin Moore, Sherwin Johnson, Trevor Porter, Venton Mars (referees), Kevin Steven, Kleon Lindey and Lenval Peart (assistant referees). Urling congratulated the referees on their achievements especially Skeete who joined the referees fraternity in 2009 and was nominated by GFF in 2013; she was accepted and accredited by FIFA in 2014 as an international referee. Skeete participated in various CONCAAF and CFU female tournaments in 2014.
In relation to the GFF constitutional reform, Urling stated that the process is tentatively set for early February. “A committee of not more than 15 members will undertake this assignment and it will last for two days. FIFA will spearhead this process and all member associations’ constitution will have to be reformed to mirror that of the GFF,” he pointed out.
The Goal Project is high on the agenda for 2015. The chairman informed that recently they had two meetings with Minister of Sport Dr. Frank Anthony to discuss the possibility in acquiring a lease to execute the goal project. “The Ministry has a preference at the field track facility at Leonora. There is a Memorandum of Understanding with representatives from the NC and Ministry trying to iron out the finer points in terms of singing off a final agreement where the Government would have to commit either a long term lease or a donation of the land to the GFF before the project can start,” said Urling.
He explained that they are also engaging the Government for another project called the Challenger project adding that Guyana is one of those countries that qualify for this project. “Georgetown and Linden are the areas indentified for this scheme in 2015 where artificial turfs will be built once the land is acquired. “Each project will cost around US$500,000 once we meet the requirements. The NSC has already been scouting the ground and three possible areas have been indentified, we just need to make a decision and get the sign off. One that’s done we will go ahead,” he stated.
Urling said that they have activated the Women’s Football Committee of the GFF. “There is a women’s association which is a member of the GFF, then we have the Women’s Football Committee (WFC) which is the decision making committee. A lot of emphasis will be placed in this area and FIFA has committed lots of resources towards all aspects of Women’s football,” he indicated. Urling said that they will focus on the grassroots programme and will be reaching out to communities where football is not being played regularly. Stewart May is the Chairman of the WFC.
He told the media that Guyana is set to play Barbados in a friendly in January 2015 and the composition of the team is yet to be decided. He stated that the Men’s and Women’s U-23 teams will take part in the CONCAAF Olympic qualifiers with the Men’s being played in 2015 and the Women’s in 2016.
Guyana have also registered for the World Cup qualifiers and based on a proposal that CONCAAF would have submitted to FIFA, the qualifiers might begin around June 2015. “The proposal is still to be approved by FIFA and Guyana is placed in the second round based on their ranking as of August 2014,”he informed.
Urling stated that they are in the process of registering two of the top local clubs – Guyana Defence Force and Alpha United – for the CFU championships and they have approved the Kashif and Shanghai competition for the period March 6 to April 5, 2015 adding that all tournaments should be sanctioned by the GFF and their referees will not officiate in tournaments not sanctioned.
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