Upper Demerara Football Association (UDFA) President Collis Gifth says that the association will be seeking legal advice following the GFF Normalization Committee’s (NC) decision to revoke its participation at the upcoming Extraordinary Congress on Friday June 26th.
Dated June 15th 2015, official correspondence which was signed by General Secretary Richard Groden and sent to the UDFA said the Normalization Committee had revoked the association’s invitation to be a part of the congress following an internal investigation and on advice from FIFA.
According to another document dated May 28th 2015 and signed by Groden, member clubs of the UDFA were concerned over of the minutes of the UDFA election held on May 31st 2014.
Attached to the aforesaid document was another correspondence dated May 18th 2015. This document which was sent to the GFF and signed by the nine member clubs of the UDFA, detailed the concerns regarding the previously mentioned association election.
The UDFA would eventually respond to the GFF on June 17th 2015 by questioning who conducted the investigation while further querying the reasons for having the investigation and why the body was not told of it.
Speaking in an exclusive interview, Gifth said “That (legal action) is not our utmost intention to reach to that extent. We are prepared to ensure we explore all avenues so that this matter is resolved amicably and we are granted our legitimate rights to participate in the upcoming congress”.
He noted “We don’t anticipate it will reach that extent, Guyana has went down this road and we don’t intend to do it again. However that does not eliminate the fact that we will be seeking legal advice on this matter”.
“Based on the legal advice we receive, that is what we will do. I don’t want to preempt anything and it is not our intention to take legal action but it doesn’t meant we should not seek legal advice” he added.
Asked if the normalization committee has grounds for their actions, Gifth said “Based on the claims they would have put forward, they don’t have any grounds to support what they are saying”.
According to Gifth “This is on the heel of a second attempt by the NC to disband the UDFA current executive because one week after the Normalization Committee was installed, Mr. (Clinton) Urling and a team visited Linden and made attempts to disband the association. We took the necessary action against it and wrote to FIFA on the matter and nothing proceeded after”.
Gifth noted that it seems the committee is questioning the legality of the current executive, declaring that one of the agenda items at the congress is to review the ban on the previous UDFA executives.
According to Gifth “While we are in support of that, it gives the indication that they are trying to use that review as the opportunity to disband the current administration while in the process of reviewing the sanction of the previous administration”.
Gifth further said “All the clubs recognize us and all the clubs participated in tournaments and programmes sanctioned by us. Most of the people that are raising the issues are the persons that were banned and that is being encouraged by the NC”.
“How could you be consulting and inviting members of the previous administration that were banned to official meetings”, he questioned.
He further said “I see it as the NC is aligning themselves and their friends to take the rein of football whenever the GFF election is due and trying to muster up a support base and they see Linden as an avenue which they can do that. Linden has some sort of friction and they are working on that and trying to take control of Linden”.
Asked if other associations should support the UDFA in whatever action it takes, he said “I think they should and I am asking for their support. This is a matter that will attract broad-based attention and once the associations believe in equal right and justice, they should stand in solidarity with us”.
“Georgetown in particular when they was going through their battle, we stood with them and we ask for any form of their support”, he added.