Football federation can push sport more

– improve relations with media, FIFA officials urge

The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) has not been doing as much as it can to give local football exposure and it also needs to improve its relationship with the media, two senior FIFA officials have said.

Colin Klass

Senior Manager of Member Associations Services of FIFA Urs Zanitti and Marketing Consultant of the Member Associations Professionalism Programme of FIFA Chris Collie have completed a three-day visit to Guyana, during which a marketing assessment aimed at improving the federation’s operations and the sport at large was conducted.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday evening, Zanitti and Collie said they had presented their preliminary findings to the GFF, but had not finalised their discussions and would offer a few more recommendations pertaining to the promotional strategies of the federation.

The FIFA officials said they had prioritized areas that needed addressing, but their greatest concern was the federation’s approach to the marketing aspects of the sport.

Collie pointed out that while there was no actual need to sell the highly illustrious sport, the GFF still needed to re-evaluate the way it went about giving the sport exposure.

He stressed that the GFF needed to improve its relationship with the media, pointing out that there was a deficiency when it came to the GFF conveying activities to the press.
“We expect from the federation a much more productive communication with the media,” Collie emphasized

GFF president Colin Klass said the federation was looking forward to fruitful preliminary discussions on the FIFA officials’ assessment. He said the federation was not looking for any “dressing” but wanted the truth and the full reality of their assessment.

Klass said this assessment was a very critical step towards the federation’s attainment of a level of professionalism.

“This visit is very, very important. It is exceedingly great and necessary,” Klass said, “because without critical analysis you cannot plan. You cannot improve relationships in terms of sponsors, in terms of stakeholders, in terms of the spectators and the media.”

Klass said the process was a first step towards the good growth of football in Guyana. He also said that the officials came to work and work they did as they interacted with all stakeholders.

In the three days they spent here they met the affiliates and the stakeholders to discuss promotional strategies, and they also met some of the football clubs. Collie observed that this gave them the benefit of gaining a perspective from club members as well as GFF affiliates. In addition, the two officials on Monday hosted an open discussion with the media.

Collie said they were happy to get the external point of view, since it was fundamental that they obtain feedback from both within and outside the federation.

Meanwhile, Klass said that the assessment was not the end of FIFA’s involvement in furthering the sport in Guyana. “FIFA wants to get an ongoing collaboration with Guyana,” he said. “They will be with us for the next two to three years, for us to get up and running. We are looking forward to a future of working with FIFA.”

Klass said optimistically that when the recommendations of the marketing assessment are implemented they could well lead football in Guyana to the Manchester United level.

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