Beacon Football Club president Mark Phillips says his team did not participate in Wednesday night’s Fastball match, organised by GT&T, because it was in solidarity with three city teams that were banned from playing in the tournament by the Guyana Football Federation.
According to Phillips, Conquerors, Camptown, Guyana Defence Force (GDF) and a few other Georgetown clubs were banned from participating in the Fastball tournament because they are playing in the current Georgetown Football Association (GFA) Futsal tournament at the National Gymnasium.
Phillips said that letters were sent to the clubs stating that they will be banned and in that light he accused the GFF and organisers Kashif and Shanghai of discrimination.
Phillips said also that this was another snag in the already volatile relationship between the GFF and the GFA.
He maintained that the only reason his team, Max Collection Beacon and Body Central Beacon were able to play was due in part to “them slipping through the cracks under different names.”
“I personally came to the decision that if these people (GFF) were going to discriminate against teams from the Georgetown Football Association then I should protest. I don’t know who it is coming from but Kashif and Shanghai are the organisers of the tournament and (Aubrey) ‘Shanghai’ Major is one of the top lieutenants in the GFF and therefore it is obvious he will tell them what to do.
The Georgetown teams in the competition are Western Tigers, Riddim Squad, and Pele. Phillips said that Riddim Squad participated in the Futsal tournament, adding that the GFF had pulled its referees from that tournament.
When Stabroek Sport called the Kashif & Shanghai Organisation for a comment, co-director Kashif Mohammad said that with Beacon protesting and playing they gave their opponent a walkover win in the knockout tournament. Calls to the General Secretary of the GFF Noel Adonis went unanswered.
Meanwhile, Phillips said that the president of the GFF, Colin Klass is “shooting cannons and the GFA is returning fire with a slingshot”. Phillips said that he had to plead with his players not to play although many were not in favour of that decision.
“The players themselves are getting frustrated that no tournaments are being played and once the players are not on your side you don’t have an association. You are going to lose the executives and the whole association will crumble. The captain of the team Dellon Fraser also helped to persuade the players,” said Phillips.
On the other hand, Phillips said that the next court date for the GFF and GFA, who were granted an injunction barring the GFF from holding elections in May, is July 19. Further, he said that the terms of Klass, Major and second vice-president Franklin Wilson are up since the elections did not come off.
Wilson had earlier said that he will not be seeking re-election to the post.
Phillips also asserted that the government should intervene and try to bring about a solution to the problems facing football in the country.