After months of uncertainty, regional confederation CONCACAF has ruled that Stag Beer Elite League winner Slingerz FC and runners-up Alpha United are ineligible to participate in the CFU Club Championship.
According to an official release from the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), the ruling body for football in the Caribbean wrote the GFF informing them of their ruling.
“CONCACAF has informed the GFF on January 9 last that Alpha United FC and Slingerz FC will not be allowed to participate in the 2017 Caribbean Club Championship since the Regional Body has deemed that the clubs are not in good standing with the GFF,” a press release from the GFF stated.
Vergenoegen giant Slingerz FC and Georgetown heavyweight Alpha United earned the right to represent Guyana at the continental competition after finishing the 2015/2016 league season as the winner and runner-up respectively.
“However, CONCACAF ruled that because the clubs are not in good standing with the GFF, in accordance with Section 111 art. L, of the Caribbean Cup Championship Regulations, and with the aim of properly safeguarding the integrity, smooth operation and running of the competition, (we inform you that) Alpha United Football Club and Slingerz Football Club are not eligible to participate in the 2017 edition of the Caribbean Club Championship,” stated the release.
Uncertainty surrounded the participation of the teams in the Caribbean tourney after they withdrew from the second season of the Elite League in partnership with Pele and Georgetown Football Club (GFC), following disagreements between the aforesaid clubs and the GFF over several issues.
Alpha United FC and Slingerz FC, along with two other clubs, objected to the expansion of the Elite League and subsequently, the GFF engaged in extensive consultations and negotiations with the clubs in question in an effort to address their concerns.
“These consultations proved futile and the GFF reached out to CONCACAF who then provided comprehensive constitutional guidance that confirm the GFF’s authority to draw up regulations governing the conditions of participation and staging of competitions organized by the Federation,” stated the release.
The interpretation by CONCACAF, sent to the Clubs on November 24, 2016, was acknowledged by the clubs but not contested.
“The Clubs, in the said letter of November 24, 2016, were formally notified that their actions would affect their standing with the GFF. In pursuance of the GFF’s statutory obligation, CONCACAF was then formally informed on December 13, 2016, that four clubs had withdrawn their participation in Season 2 of the Elite League.
“This then led to CONCACAF on January 9 advising the GFF that Alpha United FC and Slingerz FC were ineligible to participate in the 2017 edition of the Caribbean Cup Championship and directing that the Clubs be so informed.”
The GFF said that they passed on the information to the two clubs yesterday.
“The GFF is particularly saddened by this turn of events as, ultimately, it is the players who are most affected. However, we encourage the clubs to recognize the need for their players to participate in active football. The GFF remains ready to guide and support the process,” the release concluded.
Slingerz FC has threatened legal action against the GFF if it is not allowed to compete in the Caribbean event. This announcement was made by Club Manager Collin ‘BL’ Aaron but Alpha United, on the other hand has not stated their intention.