Dec 07, 2023 Sports
Kaieteur Sports – With only two days remaining until the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) affiliates gather for its Extraordinary Congress, a group of the sport’s administrators staged a protest outside the Federation’s Dadanawa Street Headquarters yesterday, advocating for fair elections and the restoration of voting rights for debarred clubs.
The GFF, led by its Electoral Committee Chairman Marcel Bobb, declared last Saturday that Elite League Clubs Western Tigers, the Guyana Police Force, and Santos, along with the West Demerara Football Association (WDFA), are not in good standing with the Federation.
This decision was based on their alleged violation of Article 5.1(b) of the constitution, which stipulates holding elections at least once every four years.
Otis James, president of the Georgetown Football Association (GFA), spearheaded the protest despite his association being cleared to participate in the Congress that will determine local football’s leadership for the next three years.
Following the GFF’s announcement, Santos FC and the Guyana Police Force questioned the motives of the Wayne Forde-led Federation, while Presidential Candidate Franklin Wilson lodged an official complaint with FIFA.
Santos FC claimed that they were not given prior notice of disciplinary proceedings or provisional suspension before the December 2 letter from GFF General Secretary Ian Alves.
Seeking FIFA intervention, they believe a fair hearing won’t be possible within the GFF due to a potential conflict of interest, thus advocating for an independent resolution.
In contrast, the Guyana Police Force challenged the eligibility criteria set by GFF and its Electoral Committee for the upcoming congress and elections.
Senior Superintendent Jermaine Johnson, and the president of the GPF FC, in a letter to Alves, expressed their objection to the lack of official communication regarding the Federation’s decision, learning about it through a Kaieteur News article.
GPF FC contended that their appointment as an Elite League Club aligns with Article 15.1(b) of the GFF Statutes.
They accused the Electoral Committee and GFF of spreading falsehoods to tarnish the reputation of the Guyana Police Force, emphasising the Commissioner of Police’s authority to appoint decision-making bodies for various sporting disciplines.
Simultaneously, Wilson escalated the matter to FIFA, questioning the GFF’s authority to disqualify legitimate members from the upcoming Congress.
He argued that the Electoral Committee lacks the power to debar or suspend members, stressing the absence of notices and due process in the alleged suspension of members.
Wilson maintained that temporary suspension falls under the jurisdiction of the GFF Congress, with due process overseen by the General Council. Such suspensions, he added, should be presented before the next Congress for a final decision.
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