-tournament to become a national event
By Iva Wharton
It just gets simply bigger and better. This year’s Guinness in the Streets football tournament will see the addition of two new zones in Berbice and Bartica while some 32 teams will contest the Georgetown leg of the tournament.
That announcement was made at the 2012-2013 launch of the Georgetown leg of the Guinness in the Streets championships yesterday at the Banks DIH Limited Thirst Park venue by Carlton Joao, Banks DIH Sales and Marketing Executive.
Joao said this year the company hopes to have a truly national football tournament which was not possible last year.
“What happen in that period and the lead up to that was that we did not have a truly national championship and that is something we are hoping to correct this year. What we have done is to identify our areas where we will play street football: Georgetown, Linden, Berbice and Bartica,” Joao added.
The winners of each of the four zones will be fed into a national championship to be played in the second quarter of next year.
“The winner of that championship will go on to represent Guyana so we have now made it into a truly national championship that will go on to the regional championship. So it therefore means that one of these teams have a chance to win basically three tournaments, the zone tournament, the national tournament and ultimately the grand tournament of the Caribbean Championship.”
The Georgetown leg of the championship which kicks off in Albouystown will feature thirty-two teams.
“There is a total of two million dollars in prize money to be won. The winning team is going to receive $600,000, second $300,000, third $150,000 and $75,000 to the fourth place finisher.
“What we are going to do also because of such a large number of players is to give incentives at the group stages so the group winners will be sharing a total of $720,000 in cash winnings,” Joao added.
Apart from the cash incentives for players, patrons too will have a chance to walk away with cash incentives.
“And of course as we connect with our people in the streets, there will be a number of opportunities for the spectators to interact and be part of the proceedings and win certain things including the shoot out that we normally would have.”
Joao said the success of the street tournament was immeasurable.
“The connection that we have had with our fan base on football down in the grassroots level is remarkable. The support of the crowds in the communities in which we play has been nothing short of phenomenal, he added.
He said the success of the tournament was due in some measure to the support the company has received from the Guyana Police Force and the Petra group, who he said, put the tournament together.
“We are hoping the level of play is to the best and that security is to the highest. We are hoping for a safer tournament so we are asking the communities for their assistance in this regard,” said Joao.
The first four matches of the Georgetown leg will be played on Saturday, at the Albouystown Tarmac, on November 12 at the National Culture Centre Tarmac, on November 15 at the East Ruimveldt Tarmac and the Sophia Exhibition Site on November 1.
The areas selected according to Banks DIH Public Relations Officer Troy Peters, covers a wide cross section of the city so as to ensure that a number of communities get the opportunity to participate in the championship.
Play in the other areas will start next year but the entire championship will be played between December and May of next year.
Joao said that tournament which started four years ago with the blessing of the Sport Ministry will once again have the ministry’s support.
Sport Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony is expected to at the Albouystown Tarmac on Saturday.