Odinga Lumumba is having his cake and eating it too. The President of Alpha United Football Club seems to know how to wheel and deal in local football circles.
What is very clear is that his proposed effort to bring a resolution to the current impasse between the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) and the Georgetown Football Association (GFA) has left the situation with more questions than answers.
Lumumba, Presidential Advisor on Empowerment, had told the media recently that he was negotiating on behalf of the recently-elected Donald Ramotar administration to bring an end to the local football debacle.
What Lumumba did not do was recuse himself in the negotiation as president of Alpha United Football Club.
Lumumba was on one hand trying to force the GFA executive to withdraw the court matter brought against the GFF and on the other hand seemed to be negotiating a return of his team into the fold of the GFF because the stakes there seem much higher.
Lumumba’s main focus seems to be the upcoming Super League organized by the GFF a stepping stone for participating in the CONCACAF Club Championships where Alpha United has had measurable success previously and the finances that go with the hosting of matches are very attractive we are told.
Lumumba was up in arms with the GFF for not staging the Super League last year and even threatened to take action against the local football governing body for cost associated with his team’s preparation.
Lumumba and the GFF have now formed a holy alliance in an attempt to bring the GFA to its knees after its marginal successes over the past few months.
Only recently Lumumba, a former President of the GFA decided to join forces with the city’s football administration after his team was booted from the annual Kashif and Shanghai football tournament despite being the defending champions.
He not only allowed his team to participate but was also one of the major sponsors of the recently held Banks Beer knockout Cup which climaxed on January 1 this year.
It baffles the mind as to the thinking of the GFF because one would have expected Alpha United to be suspended by the GFF for participating in the just concluded tournament; instead it seems that an olive branch has now been extended to the team by the GFF.
Is this a new dispensation by the GFF to grant amnesty to teams from Georgetown wishing to return to its fold?
The GFA had seen Lumumba as a key player to turning around the problems facing local football over the years after he was proposed to run against now suspended GFF President Colin Klass.
However, those plans backfired when the GFF decided to lock out the GFA from its last Congress forcing the City administration to file an injunction in court against its parent body.
The move by the GFA has virtually brought official matters of the GFF to a halt. The GFF has since been unable to hold its Congress to elect a President, Vice President and Organizing Secretary.
Klass before he was suspended by FIFA, the world body governing football for 26 months in August last year was the lone candidate for the job of GFF President for another four-year term after being at the helm for 20 years before the GFA nominated Lumumba.
Lumumba has once again switched in his continued maneuvering on the corridors of local football.
With Alpha United, Pele and Western Tigers, three of the top Georgetown Clubs now returning to the fold of the GFF, the GFA now find itself in a quandary.
Can the other teams survive under the umbrella of the GFA?
Alpha United’s withdrawal from the GFA has intensified the need for a resolution to the impasse.
The stack of cards is now on the table and it would be interesting to see if Lumumba really has the ace to bring an end to the local football crisis.