President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Boss Wayne Forde continues to remain silent on the status of the investigation launched into the behavior of Executive Committee Member Keith O’Jeer.
The GFF boss has refused to answer an electronic mail [email] sent by this publication asking about the status of the investigation. He has also opted against disclosing the names of the
individuals that are tasked with overseeing the process, citing possible legal ramifications at an earlier press briefing.
O’Jeer, who also holds the portfolio of Berbice Football Association (GFA) President, was suspended by the federation for inappropriate conduct.
His suspension, following a meeting with the GFF Executive Committee, was revealed by Forde in an earlier interview with this publication.
Although details surrounding what led to O’Jeer’s suspension has not been revealed by the federation to date, it was disclosed by sources that the incident in question was brought to light by a prominent member of the football fraternity.
O’Jeer is the second high ranking member of the GFF to be investigated for inappropriate behavior.
On February 2nd 2018, 17 male and female referees signed a three-page letter, calling for the removal of GFF Head of Referee Department Stanley Lancaster, citing unprofessionalism and incompetence amongst other issues.
Presently, a Commission of Inquiry (COI) is underway in the matter. The all-female commission that is overseeing this process comprises Dr. Karen Pilgrim, Dr. Melissa Ifill of the University of Guyana, Karen Joseph, Human Resources Consultant, Karen De Souza, Red Thread and Joy Nichola Marcus-Reid, also of Red Thread. However, according to a source close to the federation, the GFF is operating very partisan in their decision making on the two incidents.
The source declared, “The referees’ fraternity is very much concerned that one of its most senior officials is under investigation and still on the forefront of activities such as conducting courses. It shows a total disregard for the fraternity, the GFF President is encouraging this type of behavior because he is still on the forefront.”
According to the source, “What is the difference between the Keith O’Jeer incident and this matter, both are under investigation for inappropriate behaviour yet the GFF suspended O’Jeer. Why suspend one and still have the other one functioning in his full capacity. Everything is just quiet and you are not hearing about anything. What is really going on, it is like everything is normal.”
The source further said, “This shows that the GFF doesn’t care and they disregard the referees. They have no respect for us and the GFF President operating like there is no issue. This individual is supposed to be off the job until the investigation proves that he is not guilty of inappropriate behavior. The GFF allowing him to remain in his full capacity is sending the wrong signal and gives the impression that certain individuals are above the law and can do what they want.
“We can’t have a leader in the referees’ fraternity under investigation and the GFF doing nothing about it. That is total disrespect and we can’t accept this. If this situation continues, the referees especially the females will take further action to rectify the matter because the GFF is not giving us any justice”, the source added.