Dear Mr. Editor,
Kaieteur News – Greetings to all readers and a Happy 2021 to all may this year be the period that we will all bounce back from all the deficiencies that 2020 had to offer. Speaking about Bounce Back, I would like to complement the Guyana Football Federation, The Kashif & Shanghai Organisation, The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, The Management of the National Stadium and the Government of Guyana for allowing us to witness an enthralling and entertaining football match on Jan 1st 2021.
All over the world many countries have recommenced the playing of football and Guyana has since joined them. The use of the National Stadium was also a fine gesture on the part of the Government of Guyana and specifically the Honorable Minister of Culture Youth and Sport, Attorney-at-Law, Charles Ramson (jnr}.
Mr. Editor, I have been around quite a while and had the opportunity to witness about seven (7) other Ministers of Sports in operation and I am very impressed with the present Minister, he has the knack of knowing what to do, he has the capacity to move sports to the next level, he has vision and the wisdom to succeed and he will.
Look at the way he operates he is meeting with the grassroots sportsmen and women; sports in Guyana is basically played by the underprivileged and sports can and has made many Guyanese popular while enriching many. With a Minister of this category, we are on the right track.
The Government of Guyana and specifically His Excellency President Dr Irfan Ally must be complimented for choosing such an individual to run the Culture, Youth and Sports Ministry. Guyanese were of the impression that Mr. Ramson would have been channeled into the Gas and Oil Sector, if that was done Sports would have lost an opportunity of acquiring such individual, have you ever witnessed a perceived wrong became right, then here is one and Guyana has benefitted. The Oil sector maybe had a loss but the Sporting fraternity benefitted tremendously.
International football is scheduled to be played in Guyana shortly and we will be participating in the 2022 Qatar World Cup Qualifiers and the entire Guyana would be supportive of the National Football Team which has been performing exceedingly well recently, however spectators and home support play an integral part of the team performance.
Remember 11.11.11 when Guyana defeated Trinidad and Tobago at the National Stadium, the crowd played an integral part in us achieving that famous victory. Mr. Editor with the Sports Minister and the support of the Government of Guyana we saw Football being played at the National Stadium after a very long time, did you remember when the Kashif and Shanghai Organisation filled the National Stadium to capacity, it can be done again.
Over the past few years, the National Football Team has been playing its International Matches at the Leonora Track & Field Center but the support was very minimal. Most of the spectators and supporters are based in the city and from the so-called depressed areas and getting to Leonora every time a game is played there can be time consuming and costly and as such most are deprived of witnessing Guyana play these matches due to the above-mentioned reasons.
It is often mentioned and reasoned that the National Stadium is a cricket ground which we all are aware of, and that football should not be played at the venue because the pitch will be damaged, Mr. Editor, before we had the National Stadium, International Football used to be played at the famous GCC Ground Bourda without much fuss.
The Queens Park Oval in Trinidad & Tobago, Kensington Oval in Barbados, St Lucia and many more Caribbean Islands had and still plays football matches on their cricket venues. Preparing a cricket pitch is not rocket science and after a football match is played once there is no rain the damage is minimal and the repairs can be done in one (1) day and not longer than a week.
It is my fervent wish and all Guyana that when the National Football Team is scheduled to play in Guyana that the National Stadium is used. Football is played mostly by underprivileged youths and the base of its support comes from these communities where they live, football is also graced by the presence of the middle- and upper-class football lovers and taking the games to the National Stadium will ensure that they take their family to witness the games, a comfortable and respectable atmosphere is the hall mark of a great environment and social cohesion will be implemented.
In closing I would like to once again thank the organisations that were responsible for the playing of the football match. To the GFF, staff and President Wayne Forde, you all did a great job.
To Kashif & Shanghai and workers your organisational ability was evident. To The National Covid-19 Task Force, kudos to you guys for ensuring that all the protocols and guidelines were adhered to and implemented.
To Hits and Jams for your shrewd organisational skills, thank you. Also, to the sponsors for supporting football at such short notice, you are also thanked. To the technical team in allowing us to see the game live on TV and Social Media a great thank you.
All of this was not possible if it was not done under the astute leadership of the Honorable Minister of Sports Mr. Charles Ramson (jnr) whom I shall declare as the Guyana Man-of-the-Year 2020.
Also, to the Government of Guyana and His Excellency President Dr. Irfan Ally for their continued support to sports and football in general a great thank you. In 2021 Guyana needs cohesion, cooperation and stamina and we will come out of this pandemic victorious. Thanks for your patience and tolerance.
Eric St Augustine
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