Clinton Urling, former Normalization Committee Chairman of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), said CONCACAF and the federation needs to explain why Guyana will not be represented at the 2017 CFU Club Championship.
According to a press release from the GFF, the two clubs will not be allowed to participate in this year’s CONCACAF club championships.
In an exclusive interview with Stabroek Sports, Urling said “Both CONCACAF and the GFF owe the members of the GFF, the teams involved and the country an explanation as to why no Guyana team would be able to participate in the 2017 championships.
“Additionally, the GFF Exco needs to be asked, or say, whether they are in agreement with the CONCACAF ruling and if yes, why? And if no, what representation it is willing to make to CONCACAF to change course”.
CONCACAF in a release to the GFF, barred the participation of Stag Beer Elite League Champion Slingerz FC and runners-up Alpha United from the regional tournament owing to their “poor standing with the federation”.
The two clubs withdrew alongside Pele FC and Georgetown Football Club (GFC) from the second season of the Elite League after being at loggerheads over several issues with the GFF.
The main dispute was the federation’s decision to increase the membership of the tournament to 10 teams without consultation. Slingerz FC has already threatened legal action against the GFF if it is not allowed to compete in the regional event.
“It is indeed disappointing to learn that CONCACAF has used its discretion and decided to bar the two clubs, which legitimately won the first complete season of the Elite League, from participating in the Caribbean Club Championships.
“Moreover, it is baffling that CONCACAF made its decision on the grounds that the clubs are “not in good standing” with the GFF, without offering a specific explanation as to what that means or represent. CONCACAF owes both the GFF and the clubs an explanation as to how it arrived at the position that those clubs are not in good standing.
“Did those clubs breach the statutes of the GFF? Were those clubs sanctioned by any of the Judicial Committees of the GFF? Did the GFF Exco sanction those clubs to put them in a position of bad standing with the Federation?,” he asked.
Urling went on:“From my understanding of the entire imbroglio, which has played out over the last several months, the two teams (along with two others) disagreed with a position of the GFF Exco in relation of the administration of the second season of the Elite League. Those teams asked for arbitration to settle the matter and also they have gone to the GFF’s Disciplinary Committee to adjudicate the matter.
“None of those actions constitute a breach of the GFF statutes or would cause those teams to not be in good standing with the GFF. A mere disagreement with the GFF Exco or non-participation in the current league does not amount to being in bad standing. In fact, the current league standing has absolutely nothing to do with the 2017 Caribbean Championships” he opined.
Asked if the two clubs should be sanctioned for their action, Urling said:“In terms of the issues of sanctioning of the two clubs, It would be premature for me to comment since there is a case before the disciplinary committee and also since those decisions will have to be made by the GFF Exco and Council in accordance to the statutes of what constitutes members’ obligations to maintain their membership status.”