The Guyana Defence Force Football Club has been suspended from all football-related activities by its umbrella body Georgetown Football Association (GFA) pending a hearing as to why the club was yanked from participating in the GFA/Banks DIH Knockout Tournament by its top brass.
A date has not been set as yet for the hearing.
A letter, seen by this publication, was sent by GFA’s Vice-President Mark Phillips informing the secretary of the club, of the GFA’s decision to suspend the number two ranked team in the country.
A date, time and venue will be communicated to the GDF for the commencement of the hearing.
Also in the missive, the GFA will seek to ascertain the “current administrative status of the Guyana Defence Force Football Club,” a release stated.
These decisions came after it was reported by this publication on Sunday that a letter, coming out of the office of Chief-of-Staff Commodore Gary Best, informed the GFA that the GDF will no longer be in the competition. No reason was proffered by the army for the withdrawal of the team.
When Stabroek Sport contacted the GDF yesterday this publication was told by Colonel General Staff Bruce Lovell, tasked with the organisation of sport in the GDF, that the organisation will not be making any statement on the issue while calls to Commodore Gary Best went unanswered.
The GDF, on December 13, had written to the GFA, headed by GDF’s Lieutenant Commander Vernon Burnette, informing it that the club will not be taking part in the tournament, which is being run alongside the 22nd Kashif & Shanghai tournament. The letter, signed by Lieutenant Colonel Nazrul Hussain for the Chief-of-Staff, did not give any reason for the decision.
The GFA responded to that letter on December 16 stating that on December 8 the GDF had formally indicated its participation in the tournament. The GFA also reminded the GDF in its letter that the army had established its participation by being present at the opening ceremony on December 11.
That apart, the GFA wrote that “absence of a reason for the withdrawal/non-participation of the Guyana Defence Force FC can lead to numerous speculations and do a great disservice to the Georgetown Football Association, the sponsors who are interested in the development of the association, and last but not least, the large number of fans who have grown accustomed to the presence of the Guyana Defence Force FC and have lent their ardent support to the latter.”
The GFA added, “The above posture by the Guyana Defence Force FC may result in the much desired corporate sponsorship becoming unavailable since no one would willingly wish to invest in an institution whose membership is characterized by such uncertainty.
“The withdrawal/non-participation of the Guyana Defence Force FC from a duly sanctioned tournament may result in disciplinary measures being levelled against the club and thus deprive the members of the club who would have trained arduously for this tournament and for a successful 2011-2012 league.”
Meantime, the GFA is also of the belief that the withdrawal/non-participation of the GDF will derail the efforts of Sports Minister Dr. Frank Anthony to assist in the development of the GFA. Therefore, the executive of the GFA is asking Chief-of-Staff Best to reconsider the decision to pull out the team.