Jul 13, 2018 Sports
The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) is making a concerted effort to qualify for the first time in Guyana’s history for the CONCACAF Gold Cup and part of the effort include the GFF enforcing Article 2.26 of the 2017 / 2018 Elite League Rules & Regulations which states that, “Players are not permitted to compete in any competitions outside of those sanctioned under auspices of the Elite League”.
According to a correspondence from the GFF, in order to qualify for the Gold Cup, “We have to ensure that our players that are available locally are given every opportunity to be ready for selection.” It further explained that, “We (the GFF) are making sure that the players are not subjected to some unnecessary injury outside the Elite League (which kicked off its second leg last week).”
This was made in reference to ‘small goal’ competitions inclusive of futsal and street football that are usually competed between the playing dates of the GFF/FIFA funded Elite League that sees participation of the best local based players.
Despite some stern criticisms by many stakeholders of the move by the football administration, some are in favour of the move, including coaches Calvin ‘Flu’ Allen of Western Tigers Football Club and Sampson Gilbert of Fruta Conquerors Football Club.
The outspoken Gilbert, whose team is currently second in the league with 23 points, explained that, “I support the GFF decision because these small goal competitions are not beneficial to the league and the league is most important. I would encourage the promoters of these events to host during the off season.”
Gilbert reiterated that, “I would like my players to come out and train. I’m from Conquerors and I want to win the league and I think these small goal tournaments would definitely impede on the club’s ambition since they are played many times concurrently with the league. I believe the organisers should host such events during the off season if they want Elite players to participate.”
Head of the GFF Wayne Forde shared with Kaieteur Sport that he really wants to ensure that the local players are given every opportunity to be part of the historic process of qualifying for the GOLD Cup which he is confident Guyana will achieve.
”We’ve got to monitor how these players play and put measures in place to protect them. When players participate in tournaments that aren’t properly supervised it affects the game play during the national league and the added fatigue can lead to injury,” the President explained.
”I understand that the GFF are protecting their players and the continuity of the Elite League, in addition, a National Squad will be selected in a few days to start preparations for the Nations League in September but I believe that the GFF needs to look at regularising and bringing all these futsal tournaments in order. In addition, I think the Guyana Futsal Association also needs to play their part”, ‘Flu’ Allen of Western Tigers, shared with Kaieteur Sport.
The coach whose team is top of the Elite League currently, posited that he understands that some players are looking for quick cash but there is no way that he would encourage any of his players to play for $500,000 when they have millions at stake in the league with the added incentive of a shot to play overseas while representing the ‘Land of Many Waters’.
Coach Allen insisted that he believes, “Country should come first.” Coach Gilbert noted that he supports the development of the sport and the GFF’s move to enforce the league clause which debars players from playing in unsanctioned tournaments is a step in the right direction, “And, I believe that small goal competitions are only beneficial to the organisers. It’s all about making money, not for the love of the game.”
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