The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) is never an organization devoid of compelling drama; most of it self-inflicted by administrators with authoritarian instincts. The recent imbroglio involving the nation’s most successful and well-resourced clubs refusing to participate in the top elite competition and the subsequent actions by the GFF’s leaders to refuse an independent arbiter to examine and settle the matter continues to perpetuate and reinforce this conjecture.
As reported in most of the dailies on Sunday (April 16), one of the judicial arms (the first instance disciplinary committee) of the GFF ruled that the executive arm was incorrect in its interpretation of the rules of the Federation. Instead of responding and notifying its members, and the public, that while it does not agree with the ruling, they will respect the constitutional process and lodge a formal appeal (which is mandated within 3 days as per the disciplinary code) to the Appeal Committee of the federation, the executive committee retorted with a response of “consternation” in relation to the disciplinary committee’s findings, admonishing that the committee has no authority to adjudicate and went on to repeat why the executive committee’s interpretation of the rules is the correct one.
The separation of powers doctrine in democratic institutions can be a very difficult pill to swallow for most engaged in the system. Most often, executives feel that they have all the answers and they are the end-all, only to be brought down to earth when the judiciary rules. No amount of screaming and shouting on what the executive feels or references to the opinions (not rulings) of external bodies, in this case FIFA and CONCACAF, will change the stark reality that the appropriate internal, and constitutional, body has adjudicated on the matter. The only action from the executives that will suffice is to use the constitutional process, as the aggrieved clubs did, available to them and formally appeal the decision.