Matthias issues challenge to accusers for national TV debate

- says he is willing to step down if found guilty

President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), Christopher Matthias is willing to demit office after 13 months if found guilty of any wrongdoings during his tenure.

During a snap press conference yesterday at the GFF Campbellville headquarters, Matthias sent shockwaves throughout the local football fraternity, announcing that he is willing to step down from his office which has received several yellow and red cards since he won a closely contested election with Aubrey ‘Shanghai’ Major.

“I take this opportunity to invite the members of the Congress and of the federation, who feel grieved with any matter to choose among themselves a leader, who will join me on any national programme of his choice, paid for by the GFF and for us to put to the nation at large, the issue that they would’ve indicated being the only issue and for the Nation to judge who is correct,” Matthias said yesterday.

Matthias who gave a 48 hour ultimatum to his accusers added “If they’re interested, they will contact the GFF office and let’s set it up. As I said, I will simply walk away.

“I respectfully ask for them to address the issue in a timely manner, and moreover, to indicate to them, that we either have meaningful and professional dialogue in the interest of football to be settled once and for all or we go public as they seem interested in, to the nation and if I as President am found to be incorrect as to the issue which was addressed on May 15, I would resign with immediate effect because I would not be a fit and proper person to lead the development of this nation’s football,” the GFF President stated.

   Christopher Matthias
Christopher Matthias

On the other side of the coin, Matthias said that should he also be deemed correct in the way he has chosen to preside over the GFF, he would “equally ask Mr. Odinga Lumumba, Mr. Vernon Burnet, Mr. Frankie Wilson, Mr. Alfred King, Mr. Wayne Francois, Mr. Wayne Dover, Mr. Sampson Gilbert, Mr. Aubrey Hutson, Mr. Joseph Wilson – since they would’ve been woefully deceitful in trying to deceive this nation.”

“While the members of Congress have the ability to approve or disapprove, it seems that they are folks within the congress, who are bent on doing much more than they are constitutionally required to do.

“Some members it appears are not only very interested in approving the budget, but seeking to declare and design who must be in charge of spending the money. It is most ridiculous, most unfortunate that for an entire year, persons were spending their efforts and energies in not seeking to help football develop, but seeking to derail the process; disguised as Presidential caucuses, in their very nature, characteristics of coup. We would have none of that,” Matthias exclaimed.

Since his time in office, Matthias has been trying to shape the image of the GFF but having to defend himself against those who feel that having him at the helm was bad for the most popular sport in the world.

At the highly anticipated GFF General Congress, a “No Confidence” vote was moved against Matthias but several highly publicized factors kept it from actually being passed, forcing that meeting to be postponed.

That meeting was observed by officials from world governing body FIFA and its affiliate CONCACAF and both parties had expressed dissatisfaction at the way it was abruptly ended and advised that it be reconvened within 40 days.

The Congress is now tentatively fixed to reconvene on June 1 following a meeting between members of the Congress and the GFF on Thursday in the boardroom of the GFF according to a press release from the GFF.

According to the GFF, last Thursday’s meeting was attended by Keith O’Jeer, Vanessa Dickenson, along with representatives from Bartica, Berbice, East Bank, East Coast, Georgetown, the Guyana Football Coaches Association, the Guyana Football Referees Council, the National Association of Women’s Football, West Demerara Football Association and the Upper Demerara Football Association.

GFF vice president Ivan Persaud was absent.

Odinga Lumumba
Odinga Lumumba

According to the press release, the issue of voting rights of associations which are presently governed by Interim Management Committees and the date for the reconvening of the GFF Congress were the main issues addressed.

“All present agreed that the tentative date for the Congress to be reconvened is June 1, 2014 and the members unanimously agreed that the 2010 GFF’s constitution was the binding authority,” the release from the GFF stated.

President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), Christopher Matthias is willing to demit office after 13 months if found guilty of any wrongdoings during his tenure.

During a snap press conference yesterday at the GFF Campbellville headquarters, Matthias sent shockwaves throughout the local football fraternity, announcing that he is willing to step down from his office which has received several yellow and red cards since he won a closely contested election with Aubrey ‘Shanghai’ Major.

“I take this opportunity to invite the members of the Congress and of the federation, who feel grieved with any matter to choose among themselves a leader, who will join me on any national programme of his choice, paid for by the GFF and for us to put to the nation at large, the issue that they would’ve indicated being the only issue and for the Nation to judge who is correct,” Matthias said yesterday.

Matthias who gave a 48 hour ultimatum to his accusers added “If they’re interested, they will contact the GFF office and let’s set it up. As I said, I will simply walk away.

“I respectfully ask for them to address the issue in a timely manner, and moreover, to indicate to them, that we either have meaningful and professional dialogue in the interest of football to be settled once and for all or we go public as they seem interested in, to the nation and if I as President am found to be incorrect as to the issue which was addressed on May 15, I would resign with immediate effect because I would not be a fit and proper person to lead the development of this nation’s football,” the GFF President stated.

On the other side of the coin, Matthias said that should he also be deemed correct in the way he has chosen to preside over the GFF, he would “equally ask Mr. Odinga Lumumba, Mr. Vernon Burnet, Mr. Frankie Wilson, Mr. Alfred King, Mr. Wayne Francois, Mr. Wayne Dover, Mr. Sampson Gilbert, Mr. Aubrey Hutson, Mr. Joseph Wilson – since they would’ve been woefully deceitful in trying to deceive this nation.”

“While the members of Congress have the ability to approve or disapprove, it seems that they are folks within the congress, who are bent on doing much more than they are constitutionally required to do.

Franklin Wilson
Franklin Wilson

“Some members it appears are not only very interested in approving the budget, but seeking to declare and design who must be in charge of spending the money. It is most ridiculous, most unfortunate that for an entire year, persons were spending their efforts and energies in not seeking to help football develop, but seeking to derail the process; disguised as Presidential caucuses, in their very nature, characteristics of coup. We would have none of that,” Matthias exclaimed.

Since his time in office, Matthias has been trying to shape the image of the GFF but having to defend himself against those who feel that having him at the helm was bad for the most popular sport in the world.

At the highly anticipated GFF General Congress, a “No Confidence” vote was moved against Matthias but several highly publicized factors kept it from actually being passed, forcing that meeting to be postponed.

That meeting was observed by officials from world governing body FIFA and its affiliate CONCACAF and both parties had expressed dissatisfaction at the way it was abruptly ended and advised that it be reconvened within 40 days.

The Congress is now tentatively fixed to reconvene on June 1 following a meeting between members of the Congress and the GFF on Thursday in the boardroom of the GFF according to a press release from the GFF.

According to the GFF, last Thursday’s meeting was attended by Keith O’Jeer, Vanessa Dickenson, along with representatives from Bartica, Berbice, East Bank, East Coast, Georgetown, the Guyana Football Coaches Association, the Guyana Football Referees Council, the National Association of Women’s Football, West Demerara Football Association and the Upper Demerara Football Association.

GFF vice president Ivan Persaud was absent.

According to the press release, the issue of voting rights of associations which are presently governed by Interim Management Committees and the date for the reconvening of the GFF Congress were the main issues addressed.

“All present agreed that the tentative date for the Congress to be reconvened is June 1, 2014 and the members unanimously agreed that the 2010 GFF’s constitution was the binding authority,” the release from the GFF stated.

 

Agreements

According to the press release the meeting came to several agreements but there were also several areas of disagreements.

“Members unanimously agreed that article 9 of the said constitution provides for membership. However, there was disagreement as to whether the article was one of actuality or one of intent. Thus there was debate as to who actual members were, and who the intended members were.

“Members unanimously agreed that article 2 of the said constitution establishes the objectives of the federation.

“Members unanimously agreed that article 12 establishes the duties/ responsibilities/ obligations of the members of the Federation.

“Members unanimously agreed that article 11 establishes the rights / benefits accruing to members of the Federation.

“Members unanimously agreed that the rights and benefits established in article 11 could not be automatically taken away; due process had to be observed.

“Members unanimously agreed that articles 13 and 14 address the issues of suspension and expulsion respectively.

“Members unanimously agreed that the GFF’s Constitution made no provision for Interim Management Committee.

“No evidence was provided to indicate that the GFF Congress Minutes of 21st November, 2010 was incorrect.

“No evidence was provided to establish which associations/affiliates were members and which were nonmembers, or as to when and how the members became members, and the nonmembers became nonmembers. (art.9).

“No evidence was provided to establish that there were members who were presently suspended or expelled.

“The disagreement as to which associations were members and which were nonmembers led to a stalemate.  The meeting ended abruptly with Mr. Vernon Burnett, President of the Georgetown Football Association, indicated a willingness to have the outstanding issue discussed at any meeting convened by the GFF,” the release ended.

According to the press release the meeting came to several agreements but there were also several areas of disagreements.

“Members unanimously agreed that article 9 of the said constitution provides for membership. However, there was disagreement as to whether the article was one of actuality or one of intent. Thus there was debate as to who actual members were, and who the intended members were.

“Members unanimously agreed that article 2 of the said constitution establishes the objectives of the federation.

“Members unanimously agreed that article 12 establishes the duties/ responsibilities/ obligations of the members of the Federation.

“Members unanimously agreed that article 11 establishes the rights / benefits accruing to members of the Federation.

“Members unanimously agreed that the rights and benefits established in article 11 could not be automatically taken away; due process had to be observed.

“Members unanimously agreed that articles 13 and 14 address the issues of suspension and expulsion respectively.

“Members unanimously agreed that the GFF’s Constitution made no provision for Interim Management Committee.

“No evidence was provided to indicate that the GFF Congress Minutes of 21st November, 2010 was incorrect.

“No evidence was provided to establish which associations/affiliates were members and which were nonmembers, or as to when and how the members became members, and the nonmembers became nonmembers. (art.9).

“No evidence was provided to establish that there were members who were presently suspended or expelled.

“The disagreement as to which associations were members and which were nonmembers led to a stalemate.  The meeting ended abruptly with Mr. Vernon Burnett, President of the Georgetown Football Association, indicated a willingness to have the outstanding issue discussed at any meeting convened by the GFF,” the release ended.

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