Alpha United President Odinga Lumumba said yesterday that even though his club was forced to endure terrible accommodation during their Caribbean Football Union (CFU) club championship campaign in Jamaica, his team performed outstandingly and was able to emerge winners of the very difficult Group-3.
Speaking at a press conference held at the Waterchris Hotel following their return, Lumumba said that he has lodged a formal complaint with the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) due to the treatment that was meted out to his charges and staff.
He said that he also intends to write both governing bodies CONCACAF and FIFA over the issue and will also seek to be reimbursed by them for what was spent due to the resulting circumstances experienced.
On a positive note, he said:“My understanding was that we had an outstanding tournament and that we will play Haiti’s Valencia and if we win, we will automatically qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League.
“If we lose, we will then play the loser of the other match between Jamaica’s Waterhouse and Puerto Rico’s Bayamón FC and if we win that match, we will also qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League,” added Lumumba.
He noted while that his side had some outstanding elements inclusive of goalkeeper Ronson Williams and centre-half Kirk Duckworth, football is all about goal scoring and as such Andrew Murray Jr. and Kithson Bain should be applauded for their efforts.
Lumumba further stated that Gregory Richardson was also outstanding even though he did not score and as such “It is fundamentally wrong to name a national team in Guyana and not have the best striker in the country inside it and I hope that is corrected.”
He said that if Alpha was to win the next match against Valencia, that they will be crowned Caribbean champions which is a feat that has never been achieved before by a Guyanese club.
He stated that the current campaign was also historic due to the fact that Alpha defeated both the Trinidad and Tobago champion Defence Force and Jamaican champion Harbour View in the group round.
“What we would have achieved in Jamaica is for Guyana and makes Guyana look good,” added Lumumba.
Alpha United coach Wayne Dover said that while he would endorse most of the remarks made by Lumumba…“Overall it was a team effort, we played extremely well and to say that one person helped the team to qualify would be robbing the team of a total team effort.
“We are looking forward to facing Valencia of Haiti and are solely focused on that game on April 18. If we win we will qualify directly for the CONCACAF Champions League. We will ask the President to get some tape on the team so we can get some analysis done and be better prepared.
“With regards to the treatment, this is used as a way of getting a psychological advantage over teams. However this is the worst I have ever experienced as a coach. We related this to the President and we were moved to an upscale restaurant.
“All in all it became good over evil. It was a wicked attempt to win the game off the field and CFU should look into the matter. In this modern age, teams should not try to win games off the field.”
Questioned about his projection for the upcoming fixture, Dover said “Our aim is to win the game in front of us. It’s an all-important game and winning this match will qualify us for the Champion’s League”.
Alpha United will begin the final round of the CFU campaign against top ranked side Valencia of Haiti on April 18 at a venue still to be announced, following victories over Defence Force and Harbour View by a 2-0 and 1-0 margin respectively.
If victorious in the matchup with Valencia, they will clinch a berth in the 2014-2015 CONCACAF Champions League.
However if they are not successful in their matchup with the Haitian side, Alpha will play will the loser of the Waterhouse and Bayamón FC fixture. The winner of that matchup on April 20th will also qualify for the 2014-2015 CONCACAF Champions league.