History was created yesterday as the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) General Council officially adopted a new GFF constitution as well as rescinded the ban on the former Upper Demerara Football Association (UDFA) executives during an Extraordinary Congress staged at the Marriott Hotel in Kingston.
Some major amendments to the new constitution will see the federation membership being increased to 22 affiliates, 10 more than the previous allotment.
The new members of the federation will include the eight Elite League teams as well as newcomers theGuyana Futsal Association and the Guyana Beach Football Association.
The eight Elite League clubs which will be allowed a vote at GFF Congresses in the future are Alpha United, Slingerz FC, Pele FC, Georgetown Football Club, Guyana Defence Force, Monedderlust FC, Buxton United and Fruta Conquerors.
Similarly being amended was the voting count. Under the previous GFF constitution, each of the nine associations had two votes each while each affiliate had one vote apiece. This translated to 21 votes at the sitting of any congress.
With the increasing of the membership in the new constitution, each member will only be allowed one vote in the form of the entity’s President which equates to 22 votes.
In terms of the voting for the adoption of the new federation constitution, the decision was unanimous with a total of 15 votes for its adoption under the older constitutional voting method.
The associations that voted were the East Demerara Football Association, West Demerara Football Association, East Bank Football Association, Berbice Football Association and Georgetown Football Association while the affiliates that voted were the Guyana Coaches Association, Guyana Football Referees Council, and the Guyana Women’s Football Association.
With the new constitution adopted and automatically applied, the voting for the rescinding of the previous UDFA executive ban saw eight of the members voting in favour of the ban’s removal while the Georgetown Football Association abstained from the process.
Unable to be present and exercise their franchise at the congress were the UDFA, Bartica Football Association and Essequibo/Pomeroon Football Association due to the congress questioning the validity of their executive body.
Head of FIFA Member Associations Primo Corvaro said it is an historic moment for the sport in the country, declaring “What has been achieved today should help to move football forward positively”.
Corvaro noted that the committee must be commended for the hard-work in bringing the “football family together”, stating that the mood of the meeting was one of positivity despite the imminent challenges that lay ahead.
According to Corvaro, the new constitution will be used to guide the process in the amending of the members’ constitutions, declaring that the biggest difference between the previous and current constitution is the increase of membership so as to create balance between the respective stakeholders within the sport.
He further said several committees such as the Ethics, Electoral and Appeals Bodies will be commissioned after the staging of the upcoming GFF Congress to create further balance, noting that members of those entities will be elected at the congress and not appointed like previously.
Chairman of the Normalization Committee Clinton Urling said the main purposes of the gathering were to adopt the new GFF constitution and to review the suspension of the previous UDFA executives.
He noted that both items were supported by the majority of the gathering, declaring the individuals that were previously suspended under the previous administration will now be able to play a part in the development of the sport.
Urling further said that the current objective of the federation will now be on getting its 22 affiliates to be properly constituted before the next GFF Congress to elect the federation’s new executive body.
Asked why the three associations were not allowed to participate at the congress, he noted that there was not sufficient evidence available to justify their status as constitutionally elected executives following a GFF-led investigation.
He noted that discussions were also held with the clubs of the three associations regarding this issue, stating that some members from the three associations admitted that the process which saw them being elevated to office might not have been constitutionally correct.
According to Urling, the former executives of the Rupununi Football Association were allowed to participate in the congress as they were recognized to be the last duly constituted body.
Questioned if the rescinded ban on the previous UDFA executives translates into them resuming their positions within the association, he said that GFF will be in charge of the affairs of the three associations going forward.