FIFA warns of sanctions, stands by Matthias

Breakaway GFF Congress Red Carded!

FIFA has warned the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) of possible sanctions if it does not hold an Extraordinary Congress before August 10 and has refused to recognize the congress held by disgruntled associations of the fractured organisation last Saturday deeming the meeting invalid.

Several associations who formed a 2/3 majority reconvened the congress last Saturday following the rescheduling of the April 26 gathering.

They voted to remove GFF president Christopher Matthias and GFF executive committee member Keith O’Jeer. Subsequently, the breakaway faction identified GFF Vice President Ivan Persaud to lead the GFF in the interim.

Matthias has said that the May 31 congress is illegitimate as it did not conform to the regulations of the GFF constitution.

On Wednesday, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke wrote to Matthias referring to a letter by Persaud which informed the organisation of a vote of no-confidence against the GFF President. “We would like to inform you that based on the documents and information in our possession, it does not appear that the GFF Congress was convened in accordance with the GFF statutes.

Jerome Valcke
Jerome Valcke

Furthermore, it does not appear that the decisions taken during the GFF Congress on 26th April 2014, which was observed by FIFA and CONCACAF representatives, was respected. Consequently, we inform you that we deem all decisions taken during the GFF Congress on 31 May 2014 to be invalid.

Moreover, we inform you that we do not recognize the claim in the abovementioned correspondence that the GFF Congress passed a no-confidence vote against you,” Valcke wrote.

“In view of the above and considering the on-going problems facing football in Guyana, FIFA and CONCACAF strongly recommend that GFF convene as soon as possible an Extraordinary Congress to deal with all pending and agreed matters from the April 26th 2014 GFF Congress,” he said. “We further inform you that this Extraordinary Congress must be held before 10 August 2014 to avoid referral to the responsible FIFA body for sanction,” the FIFA number two warned.

Different factions of the fractured GFF has been feuding for the past several months and on May 31, six associations/affiliates of the GFF reconvened the congress after the April 26th gathering was aborted due to the uncertainty surrounding the voting eligibility of IMCs. At the meeting, a unanimous decision was reached by the associations who formed a 2/3 majority at the reconvened congress, to remove Matthias and O’Jeer after a no-confidence vote.

The associations that voted to support the motion were 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.

Persaud was identified to act as the leader of the GFF on an interim basis and it was disclosed at the conclusion of the congress that elections would be held within 60 days and that the affiliated clubs would vote to decide the makeup of the GFF executive body.

It was further disclosed that one member from each of the associations would be placed to fill positions within the GFF on a temporary basis, since only two executives are currently functioning following the resignation and suspension of Vice President’s Rawlston Adams and Collie Hercules respectively.

The two functioning executives are executive committee member Vanessa Dickenson and Vice President Persaud.

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