President of Fruta Conquerors Football Club Marlan Cole said that the Milo Under-23 knockout is going ahead despite an attempt by the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) to pull the plug on the tournament which is attracting teams from Georgetown.
Cole said that the tournament, organised by his Club,
was in an advanced stage and there was no plan to abort it.
“They (GFF) are defeating their own purpose of existence by their action. We received permission from the Georgetown Football Association (GFA) to run off the tournament and we only approached the GFF because we were planning to invite two out-of-town teams and also needed the services of the referees,” Cole told Stabroek Sport.
In a letter sent to the 15 affiliates of the Georgetown Football Association (GFA), the sponsors and the local referees body, General Secretary of the GFF, Noel Adonis stated, “I wish to refer to the Guyana Football Federation’s (GFF) letter dated 8th August 2011 in response to your letter of 5th August informing the GFF of the Club’s intention to host and coordinate the above mentioned
Tournament and seeking our permission for use of Referees from the Guyana Football Referees Council (GFRC).
In our response you were informed that the Fruta Conquerors Football Club was suspended from football and football related activities as a result of its participation in a competition which was not sanctioned by the GFF.”
Cole said that there are also attempts by the GFF to revoke the licenses of the referees who are officiating in the tournament.
“These actions are killing football, and most of the footballers cannot play because of these actions. It is hampering the development of the game it is also affecting the future of the players,” Cole, a former Secretary of the Georgetown Football Association (GFA) said.
Te GFA had taken the GFF to court after the GFA, the body that runs football in Georgetown and the largest affiliate of the GFF was shut out of the GFF Congress.
The Congress was brought to an abrupt halt after court officials turned up to the Congress at Ocean View International Hotel with an order that brought the Congress to a premature end.
The matter is currently engaging the courts.
Adonis’s correspondence to Fruta Conquerors stated that the Club must bring the unauthorized tournament to an end.
“By correspondence dated 23rd August 2011 you were also informed of the decision of the Disciplinary Committee which determined that your Club was fined an amount of twenty five thousand dollars ($25,000) and that the Club would remain suspended from participation in football and football related activities pending full payment of the fine to the GFF.
The GFF is neither in receipt of the fine, nor has it given approval for the Club’s hosting and coordinating the above-named Tournament. You are hereby directed to bring this unauthorized Tournament, (which the media reported has commenced) to an immediate stop. It will only resume when it is properly authorized by the GFF.
Most of the competing teams are already facing suspension from the GFF.
According to Cole the knockout tournament will continue this evening with two matches at the Tucville ground and should conclude by next weekend.