Embattled Guyana Football Federation (GFF) President Christopher Matthias said the congress held by several associations on Saturday is illegitimate as it did not conform to the regulations of the GFF constitution.
In an exclusive telephone interview with Stabroek Sport, Matthias said the constitution is quite clear on what is required to convene and govern a congress. “The constitution of the federation is on our website for the world to see. Article 25 is clear as to how an ordinary congress has to be convened and Article 26 is also clear on the agenda for the congress,” he said. “The meeting calling itself an ordinary congress which does not confirm to Article 25 and 26 of the GFF constitution is null and void and the whole world knows that. Whatever meeting that took place over the weekend has nothing to do with the GFF or the development of football.”
Matthias said the members of the GFF will decide when the congress will be officially reconvened and that the relevant bodies, including FIFA, CONCACAF, CFU and the public will be notified of such developments. Quizzed if the individuals who held the meeting will be eligible to participate in the official reconvened congress, Matthias said, “That will be the decision of the duly convened congress to decide in accordance with the constitution of the GFF.”
Asked about the way forward for the body in the light of the recent developments, he said the entity will continue to pursue its elected mandate which is to develop and promote the sport. Matthias further noted that the body is “pleased to have concluded our national u-17 inter-association tournament and are now in the process of identifying and selecting the players for the national team to participate in the CFU u-17 championships.”
“We will also continue to build on our database in the upcoming transfer period and will commence our national u-13 tourney in the August period. We will also start our u-15 championships next year and we invite all associations to complete their internal u-13 and u-15 tourneys in a timely manner and to ensure they take full advantage of the transfer period starting from the June 16th-July 31st in order to have their players properly registered and documented,” the GFF head said.
Following the reconvening of the congress after the rescheduling of the April 26 gathering, a unanimous decision was taken by several associations who formed a 2/3 majority following a no-confidence vote, to remove Matthias and GFF executive committee member Keith O’Jeer. The associations that voted to support the motion are the Georgetown Football Association, East Bank Football Association, East Demerara Football Association, West Demerara Football Association, National Association of Women’s Football, Guyana Football Referees Council and Guyana Football Coaches Association.
Due to the subsequent passing of the motion, GFF Vice President Ivan Persaud was identified to lead the GFF in the interim. It was further disclosed at a press conference following the conclusion of the congress that elections would be held within 60 days and that the affiliated clubs will vote to decide the makeup of the GFF executive body.
The press briefing also said that one member from each of the associations will temporarily fill positions within the GFF, since only two executives are currently functioning following the resignation and suspension of vice presidents Rawlston Adams and Collie Hercules. The two functioning executives are executive committee member Vanessa Dickenson and Vice President Persaud.