When former President of the then Guyana Cricket Board of Control, Mr Chetram Singh, acceded to the presidency of the GCBC, it was public knowledge that the entity was millions of dollars in the red. And immediately a rigorous fundraising drive was launched towards liquidating the debt. Around the same time former GFF President, Mr Colin Klass, also acceded to the presidency of the then Guyana Football Association, which was also in debt. And the first fundraising venture that the GFA embarked on was a dinner at the Pegasus Hotel, at a $1,000 a plate. After intensive lobbying to FIFA and CONCACAF, a significant amount of Guyana’s debt was waived, thus enabling participation in international competitions once again. But as time went by and no significant development was evident in local football, the matter of the debt became the swansong for Mr Klass’s re-election. Will it be the same for Mr Christopher Matthias? After attending two Congresses of CONCACAF and FIFA respectively, the current GFF President, in two separate press releases has referred to a debt of around $30,000.000, and $250,000 in the federation’s bank account.
Editor, this now brings me to the pertinent point about the debt. Wasn’t it public knowledge prior to the GFF’s AGM, that the GFF was severely indebted? What would be more interesting for the public to know is how the Matthias-led administration intends to tackle the liquidation of the debt over the next two years of his presidency. It comes as no surprise to read Mr Matthias’s claim of receiving pledges of support from traditional football powers worldwide. And as I used to repeat to Mr Klass in General Council meetings, “Kindly produce the written evidence.” Meanwhile is the GFA still indebted to the GFF to the amount of $500,000 that was loaned to the former by Mr Klass in 2001 as a bailout to complete two senior competitions? Would cost-cutting measures be implemented to reduce annual expenditure in non-productive associations and overstaffing at the GFF’s Secretariat, along with generating additional income outside the regular sources, ie, FIFA, levy fees, gate receipts and occasional sponsorship?