By Iva Wharton
The Rupununi Football Association (RFA) should be up and functioning by March of next year.
That is according to Shaun Persaud, Chairman of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) in place to oversee the running of football in the Rupununi.
Persaud made that disclosure Saturday at the football competition organised by the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs in observance of Amerindian Heritage Month.
The IMC was put in place by suspended President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), Colin Klass, after elections were not held.
According to Persaud, there will not be any real development of football in the Rupununi unless there is an elected body.
He said even though the IMC has been receiving help from the GFF and the business community, more was needed and that can only be achieved once an elected body is in place.
“We are right now vetting some propositions on how to move forward. Around this time a lot of football is being played. We have been getting a lot of sponsorship from Digicel, GT&T and some private sponsorship. So we kind of plan to reorganize football around this time, around the Heritage time.”
At the end of this month, all sub-associations. he said, would be meeting to discuss planning of football activities. And it is at this meeting that sub-associations will be encouraged to field one male and one female team for the Heritage celebrations.
According to Persaud, even though the region is in charge of the Heritage celebration, it is the RFA that is tasked with managing, organizing and running of the football aspect.
Persaud said that many people are involved in the sport, but said they did not have the capability to manage the sport.
“Managing football means that you got to have proper referees and proper coaches,” he said.
The final proposal, he added, would be presented to the heads of the sub-associations at the upcoming meeting.
Persaud said that aim of the IMC is to move Rupununi football to the next level, with fully constituted clubs and sub-associations with the end result being that the RFA is legally affiliated to the GFF.
“When that happens we will have some amount of say in terms of voting rights, access to finance so we can further develop football.”
Persaud said the issue in the Rupununi was not football, but the structure of football.
“People are playing football and they are talented players.”
The onus he said in on the IMC to organize and structure football in the Rupununi.
He said there are many challenges, but at the same time there are ways to overcome them and that is what they (IMC) are working on. Apart from Persaud, the IMC has three other members; Brian Rodrigues – Vice Chairman, Egbert Ralph-Treasurer and Richard Rennie – Technical and Development Officer.
The RFA was headed by the late Harold D’Aguiar. Under D’Aguiar’s administration, the RFA had full voting rights under the GFF, but lost it after his death.