Guyana Football Federation (GFF) President Christopher Matthias said yesterday that an Integrity Committee will be established to look into the issues surrounding both the FIFA Goal Project and the switched Mexico World Cup Qualifier.
Matthias made the disclosure during a media briefing at the Demerara Harbour Bridge Complex yesterday.
“We are mindful of the Guyanese populace and their search for answers to these matters. There are a lot of answered questions and as such a committee will be set up to find out what would have transpired with the Goal Project and Mexico match and all the issues surrounding them,” Matthias told the media.
In the lead up to the annual general meeting of the GFF held on April 12 Kaieteur Sport’s Rawle Welch had stated that those who support football needed to know how much money the GFF received for switching the return game against Mexico, originally scheduled for the Providence National Stadium, to a venue in the United States of America especially seeing that the GFF was in debt.
Pressed about the timeline for such a commission to become operational Matthias said: “Firstly, we have to identify qualified personnel that would be suitable to hold these positions. We have some individuals in mind but I would say in two months time.”
According to Matthias, if anomalies and discrepancies were to be detected by the integrity committee, the Congress/General Council of the GFF will have to determine what course of action will be taken.
Questioned about the ownership of the land allocated to the construction of the Goal Project and if the possibility of moving the Goal Project from its current location exists, Matthias said: “That’s a decision the Congress will have to make and we will be holding a special congress with regards to this issue. Recently, a document was shown to me stating that the land is owned by the GFF. We have to ensure that is the case and make certain that the document is legitimate.”
Questioned about the supposed FIFA US$500,000 grant acquired by then acting GFF President Franklin Wilson as well as the remaining Goal Project funds utilized by the previous administration Matthias said: “I can’t really say anything about that because I am not certain at this moment.
“Currently, Ram and McRae Associates are auditing the GFF financial statements of years 2011 and 2012 so by the end of May we hope to have something tangible from them,” he added
Asked about the money budgeted for sports in the National Budget, Matthias stated that since football is a sporting discipline, he hopes to benefit from the financial allotment for the good of the sport.
“The Minister has hinted his willingness to continue the partnership in development of the sport once a structured and systematic approach is taken. We also have to thank him for affording the GFF the opportunity to use the facility at Leonora for playing matches.”
Matthias also promised to make available the financial report of the GFF when completed.
“The financial statements of the GFF will not be hidden from either Government or any football stakeholder,” he said.
GFF Vice President of Administration Rawleston Adams, in brief remarks, stated that in terms of football development, accountability is the most important and that the GFF will have to build confidence in the business community so that the resources they would have invested would be properly managed in a transparent manner.
GFF Vice President of Technical and Tactical Development Ivan Persaud also shared his sentiments saying “The GFF is guided by CFU and CONCACAF and we have already received numerous approaches from the other member states with regards to collaborating in helping to develop football.”
Matthias, Vice President Rawleston Adams and Executive Member Vanessa Dickenson.