The Kashif and Shanghai Organization yesterday said that they will not be hosting their year-end tournament if the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) grants permission to the Georgetown Football Association (GFA) to host their event during the same time frame.
Speaking at a press conference held at the Waterchris Hotel on Waterloo Street, Director Kashif Muhammad stated:“If the Georgetown Football Association
(GFA) is given permission to hold their tournament during that period, we will not be running our tournament.
“It’s disrespectful to sports fans and to us. We built this time from zero,” added Mohammed.
Asked if the Kashif and Shanghai organization was prepared to accept another time period to host their event, Mohammed stated:“If we are not given this period, we will not be accepting any other time period. If nothing happens we will get seriously into school football in December like last year.”
He went on:“The reason why we can’t have a parallel tournament is because we want to have the best teams in the country. The event was built on having the best teams involved and against this backdrop, that’s why having a parallel tournament is not feasible.”
According to Muhammed, the Kashif and Shanghai organization continues to negotiate with the federation to stage the tournament.
He noted that the tournament, if played, would be starting in the middle of November and feature 24 teams divided in eight groups of three competing in a round-robin format.
“All teams participating in the event will receive $250,000 preparation fee and clubs who make it to the knockout stages will each receive complete team kits.
“They will also be an increase in prize money of $13,000,000 which will be broken in to $6,000,000 for the winners, $4,000,000 for the second, $2,000,000 for third and $1,000,000 for fourth. We will also be giving away the motorcar for the most valuable player and the motorcycle for the most valuable coach,” added Muhammed.
He said that the Guyana Football Women’s Association which the tournament plans to go through has not been contacted by the federation.
“Unfortunately we are less than satisfied with the posture taken by the GFF. It should be noted that their failure to respond to our second letter, resulted in us writing CONCACAF,” added Mohammed.
Questioned about the letter sent to CONCACAF and if any response has been forthcoming, Muhammed said:“We have not gotten any official response from them. `Shanghai’ (Aubrey Major) has been talking on the phone with CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb and they are supposed to meet.”
He said that if CONCACAF was to rule in the favour of the federation, the organization will still not change their stance of moving their tournament.
“Yes we would share the same sentiments. The Kashif and Shanghai Organization built the Golden Jaguars. We invited scouts to Guyana and invited Jamal Shabazz here. Under Shabazz we saw Guyana’s greatest climb in football,” added Mohammed.
Asked if the actions of the GFF boss can be deemed as a form of victimization due to his previous role as GFA General Secretary, Mohammed said:“Honestly, I don’t think it is. Matthias is being caught between a rock and a hard place.
“The GFF runs football in the country. They had an impasse between the GFF and the GFA. When they told us that we cannot play banned teams, we had to follow the rules and had to take a side,” added Muhammed”.