It has come to the attention of the Kashif and Shanghai Organisation that various public pronouncements are being made which suggest that the organization has been displaying partisan political preferences.
Moreover, it is being alleged that during the current period, the organisation has been directly involved in activity that might be construed as being both political and partisan in nature.
Our concern is twofold; first, it has to do with the potential impact of this perspective on the image of the organization and the tournament, which image we have worked diligently to build over the past 22 years. Our second concern has to do with the likelihood of negative responses to the propagation of such views.
Indeed, it would appear that one of the objectives of what has developed in serious, media-driven campaign is to cause support for the 22nd tournament to decline.
At the outset, the Kashif and Shanghai Organization wishes to make a few things clear. First, as an organization we neither hold nor propagate any party political position. Secondly, the Kashif and Shanghai Organization has not, on any occasion, organised, facilitated or been involved in any activity of any nature associated with the promotion of any political party or any political point-of-view; and we challenge any individual or organisation to tender credible evidence to the contrary.
The scope of the annual Kashif and Shanghai tournament requires the organisation to interface with various important institutions, including the Government of Guyana. The fact that our tournament now enters its 22nd year has meant that we have had to interface with separate political administrations; and we have benefitted from the support extended by the Government of Guyana in all of its various manifestations.
Our concern, primarily, is with football. It is with the growth of the game, about providing Guyanese football fans with high-quality entertainment and with providing a worthwhile stage on which local footballers can display their talents.
But the annual Kashif and Shanghai football tournament is about much more than football. It is also about creating an environment in which enterprise, particularly small business, can flourish. This year, as in previous years, we have engaged scores of small vendors who will be offering foods and snacks for sale at the playing venues. Linden, among other communities, has benefitted from entrepreneurial spinoffs arising out of matches in the tournament. Hotels, barber shops, beauty shops, boutiques, taxi services and various other business enterprises including micro vendors have benefitted from those events.
Our sponsors who have given sustained support for the tournament over the years have done so, we believe, for the reason that we provide a professional service and focus exclusively on those issues associated with football. Were that not the case our sponsors would not have supported the tournament over all of these years. Nothing has changed. We remain an organization that attracts the support of Guyanese of all walks of life and we remain committed to providing an event that far transcends partisan interests.
Accordingly, and in circumstances where the assertions that are being circulated are unsupported by any credible evidence, we consider them unsubstantiated, unfair and unwarranted and ask that they end now.