I read with surprise and uneasiness an email circulated on January 9 to members of the media and the global football fraternity from the General Manager of the Slingerz football Club, Mr Colin Aaron. In his letter, Mr Aaron was seeking clarification from the President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), Mr Wayne Forde, on the status of his club’s participation in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Club Championships.
At the time of composing this letter, I had not received any correspondence on whether the GFF had responded to Mr Aaron’s concerns, however, it would be a travesty of immense proportions if the country’s top two football clubs, Slingerz and Alpha United, aren’t allowed to play in the CFU Club Championships.
These aforementioned two teams were first and second, respectively, in the inaugural Elite League, and as a result qualified for the regional championships and should rightfully be given the chance to represent Guyana in the competition. The regulations of the CFU Club Championship are clear in this regard and assert that, “the Competition is open to the Champion and/or Runner-up of the highest professional club competition (or amateur if a professional league does not exist) within each of the CFU Member Associations, whereas such Champion team(s) is determined by the result following the completion of the last complete season prior to the end of registration of the Competition.”
The inaugural Elite League ended in mid-2016 and is the last complete season of the highest club competition in Guyana. Despite all the controversy surrounding the two clubs’ participation in the current edition of the Elite League, those two clubs legitimately earned the right to participate in the 2017 CFU Championships. They would have expended enormous resources to achieve that goal and the opportunity to do so should not be denied them.
The GFF Executive Committee should do all within its powers to ensure that the two clubs are given the opportunity to represent Guyana and the Guyana Football Federation.
Former Chairman of the GFF Normalization Committee