The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) and the Edward B. Beharry Group through their Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) franchise holding, have joined forces to produce a nationwide Under-20 tournament, coined the ‘Independence Cup’.
The tournament, which was launched yesterday at KFC’s Vlissingen Road Branch, will be contested on a straight knock-out basis and caters for approximately 102 clubs across the nine regional member associations of the GFF. Each team will vie for one spot as the regional representative.
The association matches are from April 27 – May 20, while the National playoffs are May 31 – June 9 and eligible players must be born on or after January 1, 1999.
At the association level, should scores remain level at 90 minutes, the match goes straight to kicks from the penalty mark, while for national playoffs, extra time will be given.
GFF’s Technical Director, Ian Greenwood, spoke at the launch, and he noted that this tournament presents a solid opportunity for development of the nation’s future but also gives the technical staff a chance to scout for talents for the upcoming CONCACAF Men’s Under-23 Olympic Qualifiers in July.
More so, GFF President Wayne Forde faced criticisms from the media about the rationale of not having the tournament at the Under-23 level given the Olympic qualifiers are on the horizon.
Forde indicated that it is not just the prerogative of the federation in these ventures but also those of their sponsors noting that, “Up until now we did not have anything happening at the Under-20 level. The goal of the federation is to have leagues at the U-13, U-15, U-17, U-20 and the senior level, and this is one step in the direction of that goal.”
Meanwhile, Charissa Rampersaud, KFC Guyana Training Manager, explained this is the company’s effort in helping young people achieve their goals. It further aligns with KFC’s goal to assist young people in being well-rounded and productive members of society.
First place will cop $500,000, second $300,000, third $200,000, while fourth place finishers will receive a trophy.
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