Jan 13, 2021 Sports
“Let’s be clear, the Guyana National Stadium is not owned by anyone, it’s owned by the people of the country.”
By Franklin Wilson
Kaieteur News – Stating that it was a consorted attempt to malign the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport (MCY&S) and to prevent the use of the Guyana National Stadium, Providence for football, subject Minister Charles Ramson Jnr. visited and inspected the facility yesterday afternoon following negative articles carried in various sections of the print media, claiming that ‘football’ has damaged the pitch and field.
Being the hands on person he is, Minister Ramson made the trip to the facility to ascertain the claims of damage made since he was part and parcel of the BounceBack Football Fiesta which was contested at the Stadium on December 29th, 2020 and January 1st, 2021 in collaboration with the Guyana Football Federation and Kashif and Shanghai Organisation.
With the print and electronic media in attendance, Minister Ramson stated in no uncertain terms that the Stadium is owned by the various sports as it is there to be utilised to advance the development of the respective sports persons at the national and global levels.
He noted that the GFF, one of the national associations would be required to prepare its Senior Men’s National Team (SMNT) for World Cup Qualification matches commencing in March of this year.
“It was brought to my attention that a body that calls themselves GCB wrote to the Manager of the National Stadium on the 6th of January to request the usage of the Guyana National Stadium in preparation for them to get ready for the Super50. In any event, I’m advised that the groundsmen require three weeks’ notice in order for them to be able to get the pitch square in a ready condition for them to be able to use it; the outfield is always usable.”
“There is no damage to this pitch that would stop usage with normal preparatory type timings, so then the question is, why would there be a disconcerted attempt to malign the stadium and the ministry only for the usage of cricket and for persons who are favoured?”
Minister Ramson posited that that may have happened in the past noting that prior to 2015, 15 to 20 events would have been held at the facility annually as compared to the last two years, which was three annually.
Maximum usage of the facility is required Ramson stated, pointing out that for that to be attained it requires the people having access, unhindered.
MCY&S does not recognise body calling itself, GCB
Minister Charles Ramson declared that his Ministry does not recognise the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) since the restoration of the Cricket Administration Act that took place last September which paves the way for elections at the Demerara Cricket Board and subsequently, the Guyana Cricket Board.
“Until there is an election the ministry of culture youth and sport is not engaging with a body that does not comply with the laws of Guyana. That’s why since the restoration of the act we have not engaged with the body that calls itself the GCB. Even though we have not done anything that would have disallowed them from carrying on activities as a particular body because we are now in the transition of having an elected body in accordance with the act, we are not engaging with them formally because we do not recognise them as the legitimate body representing cricket in Guyana on a national basis until they are compliant with the act.”
Minster Ramson informed that there would be a court decision in a few days that would direct when the above mentioned elections would take place.
“So it’s just a matter of time before that occurs; but until that occurs we are not engaging an illegitimate body.”
The media was informed by Ramson that he was written to and invited to bowl off a tournament late last year but he responded informing the GCB that they should not do so since he was not engaging with a non-compliant body.
He said that given the fact that his Ministry’s interest is in sportsmen and women developing and advancing their respective careers within a structure, taking into account affiliation with regional and international bodies which also aid in advancing their careers, the letter with the GCB was not made public.
“But at the same time, we cannot allow a situation to occur where there is an attempt to discredit the ministry in a public which is not accurate. I invited all of the media houses here today (yesterday) so that they can get a first hand view for themselves, what is the state and condition of the Guyana national stadium. And it is an almost perfect situation, condition so that the event which occurred here, which was not the first time, we’ve had events of a similar nature that have occurred many times before; but there are some people who believe that Guyana national stadium must only be the reserve or the preserve of the few and not the many and that is not the way it is going to be done in the future, it’s not the way that it’s going to be done now.”
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