Dec 01, 2023 Letters
As the football fraternity eagerly await the staging of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Electoral Congress on December 9, many strongly believe the devious actions by the current executive is malicious and could plunge the sport into crisis.
The Wayne Forde-led administration and the Electoral Committee has appeared very deliberate in their attempt to be un-accommodating to queries about members eligibility to vote at the Congress and would only have themselves to blame for any negative consequence.
Voters’ eligibility and the reluctance to announce the incumbent slate are being viewed by the game’s stakeholders as disrespectful and clearly not in keeping with good governance and transparency.
For someone who has repeatedly touted good governance and transparency as the hallmark of his stewardship, stakeholders are getting a full view of the deception that has been constant throughout the reign of Forde.
There are many examples of his deceptiveness with the abovementioned two as the most vivid illustrations, while the claim of not knowing the full implications of some of the new provisions in the constitution, including his contention of ignorance of the three term limit, the announcement of the Lady Jags progression to the CONCACAF Nations League A and his folly of stating that the Golden Jaguars qualified for three Gold Cups, also confirm his disdain for the knowledgeable public.
The fact is that Guyana qualified for the Gold Cup in 2019 but played twice in preliminaries for qualification in 2021 and 2023.
Forde, who had stated that his candidacy for office is dependent on his family’s decision, citing how demanding the job can be and one that takes valuable time away from them, must still be in consultation with the important people in his life since no word of that meeting has been provided to stakeholders.
Is the non-disclosure of a slate an indication that he is struggling to put together one in the wake of his poor performance after eight years at the helm?
How could there be a deadline for the submission of contesting slates, but the governing body is not subjected to that request.
The opposing group along with other members of the electorate have repeatedly inquired about this in addition to other pertinent information related to the process, but the response from the GFF has been flimsy and in some cases none.
Forde, after two terms of enjoying the perks of the job, seems more concentrated on continuing in that vein, at the expense of the sport.
This observation would see him struggle mightily to refute, there has been no acceleration of the game locally, rather one could safely say that the only burst of speed witnessed was its decline.
The on-field activities have been sparse, the grassroots development clinging to life and the fan experience missing.
One would be hard-pressed to recall any era in the history of Guyana’s football that compared to Forde’s tenure save and except for the unavoidable period of Covid 19.
Lack of activities on the local grid appears to suggest we are still experiencing the Covid 19 restrictive protocols.
Guyana is one country noted for a flurry of on-field competition during the festive season of Christmas that last into the New Year, but because the sport is in an asthmatic state (sporadic breathing), associations and private promoters are struggling for real support from the corporate community.
Forde’s tenure has blanketed the sport’s landscape with dark clouds and unless there is an immediate change in the management, the fortunes of such a major sport will continue to suffer.
This assessment, though bleak, could rebound with a change in stewardship; the challenging slate is stacked with administrative and managerial competence in every member on its list.
Pressure from the public at large should be applied to the GFF and the Electoral Committee to disclose the incumbent slate and provide the list of eligible voters at the earliest opportunity.
It would help to remove all perceptions of skullduggery, the Electoral Committee, which is mandated to be impartial has apparently shown its hand and must be advised against such action.
This crucial body must not appear to be favoring any section of the race and must put out a statement to that effect, failing which the other party and observers will be in their right to interpret its silence as favorable to the incumbent.
The Body must be challenged to publish the slate of Wilson’s challenger as well as show on what date was its submission made.
Imagine Wilson not having the knowledge of who he is running against, this is such madness, and the two entities that blame should be attributed to entirely are the GFF and Electoral Committee.
For these reasons many observers and those close to the sport are warning the GFF and the Electoral Committee to do what is right to eradicate any speck of suspicion of preferential treatment.
For the records, when Forde was running for his first term in office he knew who his opposition was and their full slate.
To deny the opposition that right is keeping the process hostage and at the same time provide caretakers more evidence of his undemocratic style of governance.
Such exhibition of power has no place in national life or sports.
Football Enthusiast and watcher of the unfolding drama.
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