FIFA will consider shelving Guyana’s Goal Project which $US120, 000 has already been expended on if progress is not made by next March.
So said FIFA’s Development Officer, Howard McIntosh during yesterday’s press briefing at the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) office in Campbellville.
According to McIntosh, who is on a two-day visit to Guyana…“When the development committee meets next March
and there is no progress on the Goal Project it is very likely that at that time it will be recommended that Guyana is not serious about the project and consideration be given to withdrawing the funds.
“I am required to give reports on a monthly basis but the development committee meets twice a year, in March and in September and they ask simple questions on all projects, where are we? Has it started? And what is the status? If there is no further update, somebody is going to run into trouble,” he added.
To date the Goal Project is still in its initial stage since its inception in 2009.
“Funds have been committed to the project,” McIntosh said adding..“But it’s just a question of how we move it along; all of this will be discussed during the next 48 hours of my visit because I will be meeting with the executive committee of the GFF to put some of these issues on the table and also visit some of the sites to consider other projects in the future.”
McIntosh reiterated, however, that the GFF is not to be blamed as funds are not allocated to them but to contractors and consultants.
“The funds expended on the Goal Project do not come to the federation, those monies are not spent through the federation, any money spent on the Goal Project and Special Project is spent directly with the contractor and the consultant so even the contracts are directly with the contractor and the consultant but with the recommendation of the GFF.”
The Goal Project which is located in Orangestein, East Bank Essequibo will however have a new lease on life as FIFA has green lighted the ‘Special Project’ an additional US$500,000 to complete the Goal Project which is stuck in its first phase.
Said McIntosh:“FIFA earlier this year decided that it wanted to assist specific member associations in relation to accelerating their infrastructural development and so some countries were selected to have these Special Projects to assist in completing for example a Goal Project, mini pitches, artificial turf and Guyana is one of those countries.
“The GFF in the review of the Special Project will allocate their funds to complete the Goal Project” McIntosh added.
So when will work restart on the Goal Project and when will it be completed?
According to president of the GFF, Christopher Matthias who took up office in April of this year:” We are in meetings to discuss solutions and resolutions to the way forward but what we can assure you, the project has to be completed before the next GFF election.”
Yesterday, McIntosh also met with the Minister of Sport, Frank Anthony and other stake holders.
Besides the Goal Project and Special Project, the FIFA Development Officer from Jamaica will also be discussing plans and strategies for football in general, programmes being brought on stream, areas of grass roots development, women’s football and youth football.
“My job is to promote and develop the game and we want to see a level of development in Guyana that is in line with where we in football would want it to be and that means we now need some action in many areas” said McIntosh.