Mar 31, 2016 Sports
By Sean Devers
Former National Footballer Godfrey ‘Poulis’ Norville is questioning the decision to halt the monthly payment given to him since 2008 as a disability benefit by the Guyana Football Federation (GFF).
The 69-year-old Norville, who served as one of the Bodyguards for the late President Forbes Burnham, represented British Guiana Under-23 team, Coached by Reds Perreira in 1965 after making a name for himself at the Santos FC at the local level.
Norville, who served in the Guyana Police, represented Guyana in the 60s and 70s against Hull City of England, Haiti, Jamaica, Barbados, T&T and Suriname and has now lost his sight.
“In 2008 I went to see then President of the GFF Colin Klass to seek financial assistance for myself and another former national Footballer Birdette Marshall who was also blind and it was agreed we would get $8,000 which we did every 23rd of the month until Klass was removed from office,” Norville disclosed.
Norville added that system of payment continued and when Christopher Matthias took over the Presidency of Guyana Governing body for Football, he increased the payment to $12,000 and that remained in place until Clinton Urling became the Chairman of the IMC that was set up to run the affairs of local Football which was hit by a no confidence vote against Matthias.
“Urling decided to give us our payment in a lump sum for one year which amounted to $144,000. When Wayne Forde became President we approached him for the payment but was told that the issue of financial support for us had to be addressed by a special committee,” Norville informed.
“I had to go to Suriname to do some tests on my eyes and I was given $10,000 to help with the cost of the air ticket to Suriname. I was told that when Forde came back from Switzerland he would meet with me,” Norville said.
But that was when things started to unravel for Norville, who was not getting any pension from the Police or the NIS since he did not have enough contributions.
On March 10, Norville received a letter from the GFF informing him that the Executive Committee had meet and made a decision to discontinue the financial support to the Blind Football stalwart and his colleague.
According to the GFF there is no system in place for equal support to be given to any other of the former nationals who may have similar challenges as Norville had.
The GFF letter said that the Federation would dispatch a letter to the Minister of Social Protection on his behalf in order to possibly arrange support for Norville from that Ministry.
But Norville wants to know why the funding was really stopped by the GFF President.
“I give my all on the Football field for this County and now that I am blind I really look forward to this little money to help with my bills and need an explanation on this issue,” Norville lamented.
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