The transfer of two players to Trinidadian Club Caledonia AIA has led to a standoff between the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), which is responsible for all of football in Guyana, and the Georgetown Football Association (GFA), which overseas city soccer. The problems stem from two players, one each from Police and Santos Football Club, being issued international transfers by the GFF but still participating in the GFA’s Cellink Plus Premier League
“They gave the players transfers but didn’t inform us and when these players were allowed to play in games in the competition, they are now telling us to replay these games minus the transferred players and we said no,” a GFA source told Stabroek Sport.
The source said with the League just three weeks away from completion and with Alpha United and Pele tied on 19 points each with Fruta Conquerors just one point adrift, it would throw the entire standings ‘out of whack’ if the games were to be replayed. But there might not be much choice for the GFA except to comply with the GFF directive. General Secretary of the GFF George Rutherford told Stabroek Sport that while there might have been some breakdown in communication, the fact remained that transfers had been issued and FIFA rules needed to be applied to the case. “When all is said and done, the transfers were issued and that is what needs to be dealt with.
“The directive to replay the matches involving these players was not the only one we could have chosen. In fact we could have said the teams with these transferred players must forfeit the match with the other team getting the points as FIFA rules provide for,” Rutherford said. He added that the replay option was one that the GFF thought best for all the parties involved. “FIFA has rules that say once a player is given an international transfer he cannot take part in local league matches again until he is re-transferred or he is given guest player status on his return,” he explained. Rutherford pointed out that the GFF wrote to the GFA informing them of FIFA rules to which the GFA responded with a letter of protest. “We are to respond to their protest but I really don’t see it going any other way as FIFA rules must be observed and the GFF is the body responsible for administering football in Guyana,” he added. Rutherford pointed to another case involving transfers where Devon Millington returned from Trinidad minus a transfer from the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation and was barred from playing.
He said upon being given the assurance by TTFF that the transfer would be issued, Millington was given the go ahead to play but this did not find favour with the GFA who preferred to see the document before allowing the ball weaver to take the field.
This stance will leave the GFA with virtually no option but to replay the games, one between Police and Western Tigers another featuring Santos and Alpha United, or face sanctions from the GFF despite their protestations.