GFF owes ‘Elite League’ refs too

Wayne Forde

The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) has not paid referees their officiating fees for the entirety of Elite League Season III which concluded on September 23rd, as well as for several matches in Season II.

This information was disclosed by a source close to the refereeing fraternity.

According to the source, “They owe the referees for the entire third season and for about 10 games in the second season. For some, is 11 games in season two they are owed for. There are also other outstanding payments for the previous two editions of the Mayors Cup which I think occurred since 2016. (I) don’t know why the GFF is not paying the referees. Look how long the Elite League finished.”

The source disclosed, “Some referees are paid $5,500 per game. FIFA central referees get $6,500, assistant local referees gets $4,500 and the local central referee gets $5,500. It is thousands of dollars that they are owed. This is the biggest tournament in the country not a bush tournament. How can the GFF owe referees all these monies for so long? They also owe referees for the Turbo U19 tournament, which started in 2016 and ended in February 2017. This tournament was run by Fruta Conquerors, a member of the Elite League.”

The source further revealed, “No one from the referees department or the GFF has contacted the referees about when they will get paid. It is rumored that the referees will be paid when the referees’ election occurs and no one knows when it will get hosted. The referees’ council has already had two failed quorums when attempting to stage the elections.”

Efforts to contact the Federation for a response proved futile. An email, which was sent yesterday to GFF President Wayne Forde, went unanswered up to press time. The GFF president was asked about the reports of the Federation owing the referees for the entirety of season three and for at least 10 games in season two. “Have the referees been paid their officiating fees for the Elite League? If not, please state why, and is there a timetable as to when the monies will be paid?”

The referees are the second group to be owed by the Federation. Stabroek Sport recently reported that the GFF is yet to pay the top four Elite League finishers their respective prize monies, and the players, their match day stipends.

The GFF owes the top four teams in excess of $8 million in prize monies. Elite League champion Fruta Conquerors is owed $5 million while the Guyana Defence Force, Den Amstel and Western Tigers are awaiting $2 million, $1 million and $500,000 correspondingly.

In terms of the match day stipends, each team is owed a total of $648,000. Each player from the ten competing clubs 18-member roster, is owed $36,000. This equates to $4,000 per match per player over the course of the nine second round fixtures. Overall, the GFF owes a mammoth $6,480,000 in match day fees. Ultimately, the Elite League top four finishers and clubs are owed more than $14 million.

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