Is Street Football the GFF’s new priority?

Legitimacy is a word which has been at the centre of many squabbles and legal proceedings in Guyana’s chequered football history.

One only has to glance at the Georgetown Football Association (GFA) and the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) impasses of recent yesteryears, to begin to try to understand the psyche of our football administrators, or in some instances, actors and posers, might be better labels to apply.

Quick rewind to the recent GFF and Elite League Clubs (Pele, Alpha United, Slingerz and GFC) fiasco, which paints a ‘Davincesque’ picture of how personalities perpetuate avoidable issues borne out of illegitimacy and quite frankly, the lack of pure simple common sense.

The current situation which has left many perplexed, has created a byproduct of conflicts, which rather surprisingly, have been aided by an entity that pontificates its position on transparency, accountability and development.

The main issue here is straight forward; is the GFA a legitimate body? This simple query by one layman is directed at the GFF.

The GFA, according to sources close to the ‘institution’, was scheduled to stage its electoral congress during the month of November. At the writing of this commentary, no such function or forum (and what often evolves into a ‘poker game’ of wheeling and dealing), has occurred.

As such, can the brilliant minds of the GFF state whether the GFA is actually a functioning and legitimate body? Was an extension of their tenure granted and on what date? (Hope no backdating has occurred, a common practice locally!)

If such an extension was happily given like an early Christmas gift, why was it done in such a secretive manner and for what reasons? What is there to hide?

However, if that is not the case, shouldn’t the entity then be transformed into the always convenient ‘Interim Management Committee or Normalization Committee’? Similarly, who would be the members of this body? Maybe a promotional group has been earmarked for the position.

For many, players, administrators, self-appointed commentators and even the fickle, and at times weak media, feel that the current GFF administration has taken a clandestine approach to governance.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the status of the GFA by us common folks, the wise federation greenlighted a Futsal tournament featuring ‘Street Football’ teams.

The GFA, whose status is as uncertain as the existence of ‘atlanteans’, at least to the general public, is now campaigning on the street football circuit.

But why are you asking? This question could only be answered by the federation who’s never ending barrage of press releases and press conferences speak of the players’ first approach, strong club structures, development and seminars.

However, Mr. GFF President, where are the aforesaid proclamations? Oh what a tangled web we weave!

Rather interestingly, the event is allegedly being coordinated by the Kashif and Shanghai (K&S) Organization, the veteran and polarizing promotional group who have a history of delivering quality events.

For the record, one should not have any objections with the K&S Organisation continuing their exploits in football. However, it must be asked, why must it be only during the Christmas period and why at the expense of the clubs?

Is this group the anointed owners of this period? Why are the GFA and GFF perpetuating such a notion? How can the executives of the GFF and the GFA claim to have the interest of the players at heart with this venture?

Then again, should we expect any less? Is this another move motivated for financial gain?

The federation is venturing down a dangerous path, once associated with the Colin Klass era. Just ask the Magnum Futsal Tournament coordinators of their experience with the all-powerful GFF.

Many questions need to be answered by the powers that be. What if other associations wish to venture into the realm of street football? Will they be denied this opportunity which has been handed on a silver platter to the GFA and K&S Organization?

Was this event simply an avenue for the K&S Organization to get their foot back into the proverbial ‘football door,’ courtesy of their friends on the GFA executive?

How is this tournament, in any form or fashion, a way of development by an association whose mandate is to develop clubs? What is the rationale behind granting the GFA such a ludicrous request?

Will the same street teams, which are now masquerading under the guise of ‘wards,’ feature in future GFA and GFF tournaments? Where are the affiliated clubs of the GFA on this matter?

Is this tournament a one off event, or will it act as the pilot, for this popular variation of the sport, for future competitions during the Christmas period? Are we seeing a Renaissance of the K&S Tournament?

What is the position of the GFA general council on this episode, and more importantly what is the position of the players?

What if the clubs refuse to participate in GFA tournaments in 2018, due to this apparent selfish slight, by certain members of the association’s executive? Will they be sanctioned?

Both the GFF and GFA are entering uncharted waters here without a paddle. The current situation is nothing short of disrespectful to the clubs and players who have stood by the GFA, and by extension the GFF, who were promised a ‘better’ life and atmosphere for the football fraternity.

It is beyond comprehension how such a scheme could have been approved by the GFA and the GFF. Maybe a players’ committee will have to fight for their interests, since the ‘suits’ seem fixated on the usual, personal aggrandizement.

Maybe the current GFF is also waiting on the oil money? Perhaps, it’s time to hail the GFA, GFF and the K&S Organization, the only developers of the beautiful game!

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