Are the private promoters prepared to go the extra mile

Dear Editor,

Never before in the history of local football have privately promoted tournaments, and by extension 5-a-side outstripped organised football, in any Association. While I haven’t kept a count in Georgetown, the largest Association, in relation to affiliates, during my tenure as a GFL/GFA administrator while former President Colin Klass was at the helm, the Kashif & Shangai KO, Mayor’s Cup, Fruta Conquerors/Namilco KO,WDFA Sweet 16 KO and Santos/English Round Robin/KO Futsal, Bartica FA, Berbice FA, Alpha United and the EBFA all came along intermittently. In all instances, however, the approval of the GFL/GFA was always sought for an affiliate’s participation. Of course conditionalities were always included (subject to discussion) prior to granting approval for participation, which was then forwarded to the GFA/GFF. The then Guyana Football Referees Association, under the presidency of George Grimes, used to organise a fund-raising indoor KO Tournament.

Within the space of 9 days (Nov 29-Dec 8) ‘Sports Scope- Our Opinion’ has compiled 2 columns on football, namely ‘Has the GFF exceeded its mandate?’ and ‘Is Street Football GFF’s new priority?’ Once again two questions are being asked, but in the second instance mention is being made of the Kashif & Shangai organisation in a most unfortunate manner: “Was this event simply an avenue for the K&S organisation to get their foot back into the proverbial ‘football door’, courtesy of their friends on the GFA executive? Are we seeing a renaissance of the K&S Tournament? Perhaps, it’s time to hail the GFA, GFF and the K&S Organisation, the only developers of the beautiful game!”

Exactly who are the coordinators of the Magnum Futsal Tournament? What is their basic aim and objective for Futsal? Do the coordinators consist of members of Three Peat Promotions that had its fair share in a 5-a-side tournament already? Further, an initial member of Three Peat Promotions, is a part of an annual two-day athletic championship and now holds the important position of Magnum Brand Manager. Can Sports Scope ascertain if this isn’t a conflict of interest? That column’s opinion with its over-indulgence in polemics, is definitely not best suited for public dissemination.

Interestingly, in compiling the GFA’s annual calendar of activities for submission to the GFF, specific dates were set aside for both private and affiliates’ competitions/tournaments, ie K&S, December-January 1; and Mayor’s Cup, November with a break in December, and culminating mid-January. The only interruption was an international engagement, including the CFU/CONCACAF Club Championship. If two GFA affiliates were invited to Bartica, West Demerara, Berbice or the East Coast for a tournament, it was with the basic understanding that in the event of the rescheduling of any match, within 48-72 hours the team(s) was required to play domestically, so, in compiling a domestic fixture no team could have cried foul. Initially, Futsal was set aside for May-June, the seasonal rainy period when most grounds are unplayable. The traditional playing days were Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Finally, with the GFF now waking from its slumber, maybe publicly they should explain how six teams were invited to participate with the ten Elite Clubs in the year-end knockout competition. From the inception of the Elite League, this was an emphatic ‘No’! With the finals slated for January 1 at the National Stadium, why resume the Elite League in February and not mid-January?

Can the GFF, via its Competitions/ Fixtures Coordinator explain how a doubleheader at Den Amstel Ground can be scheduled for13:30 hrs and 15:30 hrs respectively? What will happen if the first match entails extra-time and a penalty shootout? No way can the feature match start at 15:30 hrs, and finish in daylight saving time. Would the UDFA finals slated for Jan 1, 2018 at the MSC Ground Linden, be forced to reschedule due to the GFF finals playing on the said date at the National Stadium? If, so be the case then the GFF should rethink its position, since it’s nonsensical. The GFF should have facilitated the Region 9 Champions’ participation rather than that of the Indigenous All-Stars, which won’t be a cohesive unit, along with the fact it is a non-affiliate. Are the private promoters, who are now crying foul over the Federation’s regularization process, prepared to go the extra mile in relation to a preparation fee for 5-a-side teams, along with the relevant balls for training ahead of the competition?

Yours faithfully,

Lester Sealey

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