By Emmerson Campbell
Guyana’s national men’s football team the Golden Jaguars yesterday received a substantial cash donation from corporate giants Ansa McAl to assist with their preparation for their historic participation in the third round of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
Managing Director of Ansa McAL, Beverley Harper, made the presentation to acting president of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Franklin Wilson in the boardroom of Ansa McAL’s head office in Beterverwagting.
During the simple ceremony, Harper said that her company was happy to be partnering with the Golden Jaguars as she believes the team was on the verge of great accomplishments.
“We are so happy to come into this venture, we do so with open arms, relatively open pockets, but surely with a trusted state that this is the stage whereby we believe that the Golden Jaguars are on the cusp of being able to bring great honour and credit to our country,” she said.
Harper, who revealed that Ansa McAL was in its 20th year in Guyana, said a lot of activities have been planned adding that the sport of football was very dear to the company’s heart.
She said that her company has been involved in sponsoring football for quite some time and was elated that Ansa McAL and the GFF have put together an agreement to further support football at the highest level.
“We have been involved in football for a couple of years now especially with the Stag brand but we are so proud of the Golden Jaguars and we are so happy that we have now been able to put together an agreement to help them more than what we have been doing. We have always supported them through good times and bad,” she declared.
Wilson, reading from a prepared statement, thanked Ansa McAL on behalf of the GFF and stated that with the continued determination and high quality of play, the possibility existed that the national team can be among the finalists in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.
He noted that although Ansa McAL’s contribution, which he said will aid in paying bills, was quite substantial, the GFF will require much more than what the company was giving to take care of the Golden Jaguars.
The acting president also stated that it does not come as a surprise that Ansa McAL more than most companies have shown a willingness to provide leadership in the support of sport in general and football in particular.
He added that the company’s intervention signifies a vote of confidence in the Golden Jaguars and the executives of the GFF as it is a major investment in the future successes of the team.
Wilson also said that Ansa McAL had agreed to also partner with the GFF for the promotion, advertisement and development of upcoming local tournaments of which he was truly appreciative.
The Golden Jaguars earned a place into the third round of the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers for the first time in Guyana’s history third round after they topped their Group by roaring to a 2-1 victory over Trinidad and Tobago’s Soca Warriors in the penultimate Group B, 2014 World Cup Qualifier game in November last year at the Providence National Stadium.
The national team’s next assignment will be an international friendly against the Jamaican national team, the Reggae Boyz in Montego Bay, Jamaica on May 18.
The third round of matches which will commence in June, Guyana will be in Group B along with Costa Rica, El Salvador and Mexico. Guyana plays its first match against Mexico in Mexico on June 8.