Dear Editor,

An advertisement appearing in the SN of August 18 on page 17A captioned ‘Guyana Football Federation Expressions of Interest’ has left me amazed. A total of eleven competitions have been listed, along with two courses/seminars for coaching and refereeing, but strangely and most importantly absolutely nothing about administration, which is one of the most important areas of the sport. What is of interest however is the reference to the “pursuance of the development of the discipline of football, in accordance with the Statutes of FIFA, CONCACAF, CFU and the Constitution of the GFF…” Editor, if this is to be taken seriously, then it is with a pinch of salt. Then the self-inflicted wound of under-development would continue as a festering sore, with a band-aid covering. For personal and public edification, could we all be apprised of the statutes of FIFA, CONCACAF and CFU that entail the development of football involving 9 out of 11 inter-association competitions, with all associations comprising male clubs? Why is it that age-limit and senior competitions are not being promoted at the inter-club level under the auspices of the GFF? Suffice it to say that the GFF is probably the only federation in the world that is coordinating inter-association football as a catalyst for development.

Meanwhile no sponsor who is committed to the sport’s development would be inclined to sponsor inter-association football, save and except female football. This is primarily because of the small number of clubs. It should be compulsory for each affiliate of the GFF to have at least 3 female clubs, and associates 2, with all of them having a structured youth programme. In the long term this would definitely eliminate a repeat of the national embarrassment the female national under-17 endured recently. From the 3 matches played, there were a similar number of losses; 40 goals were conceded, while nothing was scored, with a goal difference of -40. Is this a landmark in the annals of CONCACAF/CFU?

Finally, from all indications a comprehensive study was not undertaken to ascertain meaningful development in a new dispensation. Once again, therefore, it should be back to the drawing board, as the days for carrying dead weight are over in the absence of a ruling that participation in GFF coordinated/sanctioned competitions must entail domestic activity in each association. A review of associations and club structures must be undertaken in the absence of courses/seminars for administration. Is it now crystal clear that associations are finding it difficult to attract sponsorship for domestic competitions. Has the GFF found itself in a similar predicament, hence the “Expressions of Interest”?

With the ninth month of the year already in progress and only Georgetown (recently resumed) along with West Demerara, having some measure of activity at the senior level, when exactly will the other associations commence their respective competitions for participation in the GFF’s senior competitions? By the way, is it still a requirement for associations to submit their annual calendar of activities in print to the GFF, prior to the latter’s compilation of competitions? With the players being another important aspect in the sport, since they spend a considerable period of time training prior to competitive matches, are they now satisfied with the “Expressions of Interest” in the new dispensation which has failed to coordinate competitions, including at the youth level? A one round league is being promoted for 16 clubs nationally, rather than two rounds for 8 clubs, and 16 clubs in a lower division playing one round also nationally. Given the results that are currently being obtained in West Demerara and Georgetown (16-1 & 8-0) would it be prudent to have 16 teams? The notion of playing two rounds gives coaches and the respective clubs the opportunity to correct mistakes made in the first round in order to secure a better performance thereafter in addition to more playing time with their regional contemporaries in CFU and further afield.

Yours faithfully,
Lester Sealey