Following the dissolution of the Georgetown Football Association (GFA) executive and the installation of an Interim Management Committee by the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), questions have been asked as to whether the GFF has the constitutional authority to take such action.
According to Clinton Urling, former Chairman of the GFF Normalization Committee, he is unsure whether the GFF has the constitutional authority to install an IMC.
“The imposition of IMC’s is a very polemic and controversial one for the GFF. History has shown not so favourable outcomes when the federation attempts to do so,” said Urling in an invited comment.
“I’m not even sure the GFF has the constitutional authority to impose IMCs on its independent members. FIFA statutes explicitly allow for Normalization Committees, but no such clause in the GFF’s,” said Urling.
“That being said, it might have been more appropriate for the GFF to have arranged a quorum of the GFA’s membership to allow them to elect a new Executive Committee or, at the most extreme, suspend the GFA as a member until it can reconstitute itself and organize its own electoral meeting or congress.
In the interim of any suspension, the GFF would assume responsibility for Georgetown’s football. Elections are a more favourable way to go, with all GFF members, over IMCs.”
The GFF recently appointed a three-member committee of Chairman Trevor Williams, Major Shem Fung and Nolan Lancaster, to serve as the IMC of the GFA. This information was revealed via an official correspondence from the federation. The body, which has a six month lifespan, commenced its tenure on July 9th.
Initially, the GFF, via a press release on Saturday June 30th, announced that it had dissolved the Executive Committee of the GFA, paving the way for the installation of the IMC.
“The Guyana Football Federation has taken the painfully imposed, but constitutionally obligatory, step of appointing an Interim Management Committee (IMC) to manage the affairs of the Georgetown Football Association effective June 29, 2018 until new elections are conducted in accordance with the Constitution of the GFA,” the release stated.
According to the release, the action of the GFF was necessary due to the association’s inability to “reconcile the many challenges it faced over the last two and one half years that witnessed the stultification in football programmes and initiatives.”
According to the document, the GFF has told the GFA of its decision to revoke their mandate, adding “the appointment of the IMC has been taken in conformity with the guidelines and provisions of Article 2 Para. [d] & [e], Article 13. Para. [a], and Article 82 of the GFF Constitution, as well as Article 8 Para. 2 of the FIFA Statutes.”
Efforts to contact President Forde for a comment proved futile. Up to press time, an electronic mail [email] sent to his address went unanswered.
Meanwhile, former GFA executive member Lester Sealey during brief remarks questioned the procedure used to select dissolve the GFA and install the IMC.
“In observance of a publication in Wednesday’s Stabroek News which relates to the appointment of an IMC by the GFF Executive to manage the affairs of football in Georgetown by extension the GFA, as a former executive within that body, as the honorary secretary on three occasions, assistant secretary/treasurer twice and numerous administrative positions, I would like to counteract the appointment of the IMC.
“First and foremost, was a GFF executive meeting convened to dissolve the GFA executive within the constitutional mandate of both entities? Was the GFA executive notified? Did the GFF executive subsequently coordinate a general council meeting of the GFA and outline its position? Was a background check done on the three members of the IMC to ascertain the level of competency within the administrative realm for the task at hand?” Sealey questioned.
“As it relates to Major Shem Fung, is he still a serving member of the GDF. If so, he should be disqualified automatically since the army’s inability to participate in the CONCACAF Shield Club Championship 2018/2019. While I know of the major’s attachment to sport in my previous involvement administratively, I shudder to accept the GFF’s continued silence on the army’s non-participation and not imposing the relevant sanction which by extension should disallow GDF’s continuation in the Elite League and also by extension, any of its players being eligible for national selection along with any of its executive serving in any capacity related to football.”
According to Sealey, “Why would it take an IMC six months to achieve its objective, what of three months? It must be noted that previously in the GFA/GFL I served on two IMC’s as secretary which comprised of five members. Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and two Committee Members. In one instance, Dr. George Norton, the Honourable Minister was the Chairman and apart from fulfilling our mandate as a team we were able to coordinate five competitions. Of course this event occurred under former GFF President Colin Klass and with the observance of due process, constitutionality, democratic values and parliamentary procedures, unlike what is seemingly transpiring now.”
He added, “By the way where are the collective voices of the GFA’s General Council? Indeed it’s a sad day for the sport when individuals that are seeking re-election and election, eventually are now voiceless moreover, with a breach of constitutional, democratic and fundamental rights. Is the GFA affiliates aware of the fact that within themselves they can convene an emergency general council meeting towards charting a course for the way forward for their own survival and the sport’s best interest? Definitely not, the federation’s imposed self-will. I rest my case and dare anyone to prove me wrong.”