Following months of uncertainty, the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) ‘Elite League’, is set to start November 19th, with the event’s funding supposedly occurring in the form of an International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) Project Grant.
According to sources close to the GFF, “November 19th is the date for the start of season three. They have to finish the Big Four tournament, with the actual launch of the league on the [November] 17th. The league is slated to kick off on the 19th. All prize monies will be paid before then, the GFF wants to have all financial matters resolved before the first ball is kicked.
“It is a FIFA funded project that will last for three years. It was developed and presented to FIFA and they [GFF] have received the requisite approval. Among the goals is to ‘break even’ which is the hope by the 2019/2020 season. Of course the heart of the project is a player centric league, where every effort is being made to ensure the players are well compensated,” the sources added.
Some six new teams are expected to be added to the four current participants, although the names of the clubs are yet to be announced.
Uncertainty surrounded the start of the third season following the conclusion of season two on May 12th. The tournament, which was commissioned under the Clinton Urling-led Normalization Committee in 2015, has been a financial disaster for the local governing body.
Losses of millions of dollars has plagued the tournament since its inception. At the moment, the top four finishers are yet to be paid their prizes monies for the second season and an injunction was granted to disgruntled members Alpha United and Slingerz FC against the GFF. Likewise, the players have not received their match-day stipends since December of 2016 for the first half of Season Two.
The failure to compensate the participants occurred before the injunction was initially granted. The injunction however, has been quashed, paving the way for the finances to be possibly paid to the clubs.