Nov 06, 2015 Sports
Guyana for Guyanese home and abroad
By Jamaal Shabazz Proper use of its resources is central to the progress of any organization yet Caribbean
sporting bodies have been reluctant to implement a policy that embraces its human capital- local and international.
Thus Guyana’s society has often underutilized, misused and even abused the resources available to us in Guyanese living overseas. Our people living abroad have been reduced to a reference for a donation, a “help out “ or “top up” while their organizational and intellectual abilities remain untapped.
It borders on obscene to accept the donations of our overseas Guyanese but ignore their administrative and technical value to our programs. Let’s back up a bit and look at the Diaspora from a historical perspective.
The need for career opportunities and improved living standards caused a massive migration from the Caribbean to North America in the neo colonial 60s and turbulent 70s. The children of these migrants have never denied their Guyanese heritage and sports have been an avenue to connect with their roots.
Social media and modern technology have brought Guyanese abroad even more in touch with the political, sporting and social issues in their homeland as they make their input on Facebook and Instagram daily.
However Guyana’s failure to utilize our human capital in the Diaspora is an unconscious form of the under development of our people and its institutions. FIFA has made it possible for football to keep migrants in touch with their heritage by allowing a person to play for a country once their grandparents or immediate parents were born in that country.
This means that a person not born in Guyana could play for Guyana once their ancestral lineage meets the FIFA requirements. The use of overseas born players has sparked debate and local fans are usually critical when the team loses but if the team wins, as usual ……..shut mouth catches no flies.
So in the new GFF, North America should be established as an Association with representation on the General Council. Never mind that FIFA has no precedent, we are a free people and must innovate legislation that suits our needs and the progress of our people.
UEFA does not let FIFA dictate what is best for European football when it comes to innovating local policy and what is best for Europe. The Bosman ruling is a perfect example of Europe making innovations that does not run afoul of FIFA laws but suited for their needs.
Therefore a GFF North American Association can organize the Guyana efforts abroad in talent identification, coach education, financing and fund raising. The overseas former members of clubs like Pele, Camptown, Santos and others entities must become more than just donors helping with a trophy. Their expertise must become part of a new approach to football in particular ……and sports in general.
Marcus Garvey said Africa for Africans home and abroad in his quest to link the sons and daughters of the former slaves who were brought to the Caribbean from the motherland.
Today Caribbean society has evolved with Caribbean countries having a local and migrant population of their own. Guyana, Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago are now parents of their own.
So we come to understand that there are equal numbers of Guyanese living abroad as there are living in Guyana. Therefore I make the stance…..that in football……Guyana for Guyanese home and abroad. What say ye?
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