GFF holds congress despite court injunction by Slingerz and Alpha

— ‘I have no knowledge of what you’re talking about’ – GFF President Wayne Forde says about injunction

The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) yesterday held its Ordinary Congress at the Park Vue Hotel despite a court injunction which was reportedly filed by Slingerz and Alpha football clubs to prevent the federation from hosting the congress.

The interim injunction, which was granted on May 25, 2017 by Judge Priya Sewnarine-Beharry, seeks to prevent the GFF from electing any new executive member, halting the payment of prize monies from the just concluded Stag Elite League.

The injunction also seeks to prevent the GFF from taking any formal action against Slingerz and Alpha United.

President of the GFF, Wayne Forde, however, denied ever having prior knowledge of the legal document which he said was never served to him or any of his executives.

Members of the GFF Executive Committee from left to right- 1st Vice-President Bruce Lovell, Executive Committee members Keith Ojeer and Carmel Williams, 2nd Vice-President Rawlston Adams, Executive Committee member Magzene Stewart, GFF President Wayne Forde, 3rd Vice-President Thandi McAllister and Executive Committee member Ryan Farias

“I have no knowledge of what you’re talking about,” Forde stated while encouraging reporters to “examine their facts” as it relates to the legal application made by the two local clubs to prevent the Forde-led executive from executing their duties.

“We are not aware of the filing or as you said serving of any application or notice that you are referring to…The executive committee, we have absolutely no knowledge of the serving or filing of any order whatsoever,” Forde said when further pressed on the matter.

Forde said he does not have enough information on the issue and as such, neither himself nor members of the executive body will not be commenting on the matter; he pointed to the sensitive nature of the issue, which he said requires more than mere speculation.

Meanwhile, legal advisor of Slingerz, Attorney Adrian Smith, who filed the injunction, suggested that the staging of the congress was an act of disrespect to the High Court by the Forde-led executive. The lawyer argued that the federation was issued a copy of the legal document and as such, he will be pursuing other legal actions on the matter once the Marshal’s report is completed.

Successful Congress

Meanwhile, the successful staging of the congress, on the other hand, demonstrated solidarity amongst the Guyanese football fraternity to forge ahead with the developmental plans of the GFF, Forde said.

GFF President Wayne Forde (center) addressing the gathering of member associations at the entity’s Congress in the presence of his executive committee. Sitting from left to right are PRO Debra Francis, Executive Committee Member Magzene Stewart, 2nd Vice-President Rawlston Adams, 1st Vice-President Bruce Lovell, 3rd Vice-President​ Thandi McAllister, Executive Committee Members Carmel Williams, Keith Ojeer, and Ryan Farias.

“I think today was yet another example of the football family wanting to move ahead with its developmental plans and programmes.

“We had tremendous congress, today. Some very, very important decisions were taken. The members now have a renewed sense of direction and purpose and I think we can all be optimistic about the future of football,” the top football executive said.

Some of the “important” decisions Forde made reference to include the resolution of a saga involving Guyana’s act of forfeiting the right the host Mexico, in the 2014 World Cup qualifier. Fruta Conquerors Football Club subsequently tabled a motion, instructing an inquiry into the alleged shady deal.

“The motion was in fact tabled and passed successfully. The essence of the motion is that the executive committee commenced the investigation of the circumstances surrounding the selling of the game right, Guyana versus Mexico. The executive committee supported the motion and urged its members to support the motion, we now have the tools that we need to reach out to FIFA and CONCACAF for support both for their investigative capacity and the necessary funding that will no doubt be required to undertake such an investigation,” Forde assured.

The move, according to the President, is required to give the matter closure in Guyana. He also spoke strongly about the focused developmental programmes and projects that the federation is planning to undertake as he briefly mentioned plans to strengthen sport at the various levels through robust funding.

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