Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, today, signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) and the Guyana Hockey Board which are intended for the construction of two state-of-the-art sporting facilities behind D’Urban Park.
A release from the Ministry of the Presidency said that the government has given both entities a lease for the duration of 25 years and has mandated that the facilities be opened for public use.
With the passage of a motion of no-confidence against the government on December 21, 2018 questions will continue on what exactly it can and cannot do.
Harmon said that the signing is a “defining moment”.
Referring to the GFF, the Minister said that the MoU stemmed from a meeting between President David Granger and President of FIFA, Gianni Infantino.
“Last year, the President of FIFA visited and he met with President David Granger and the President of FIFA made a commitment to help Guyana to achieve certain goals as it relates to football. At that point, President Granger committed to ensuring that what is needed at the level of the government will be done. So this collaboration is testimony to that commitment. We are keeping our bargain this morning. This activity of declaring that area for Sports not only benefits the GFF but in our negotiations, we insisted that the public has access to these facilities that the GFF would maintain. I believe that the infrastructure for these two sports has been an inhibitor in allowing for our players to achieve success and so I really want to see this facility utilised for the benefit for our young men and women and we can see an incremental increase in the number of people who play these sports and their successes,” Harmon said.
President of the GFF, Wayne Forde said that the D’Urban Park Football Complex Project will house an international quality, full size pitch, two mini pitches and a new headquarters for the organisation. The mini pitches will be fully accessible to the public.
“Without infrastructure we cannot develop our players, it is as simple as that. We cannot improve the standard; we cannot compete at the highest level of the game. This Project will help Guyana to increase participation in football, spot talent in the infancy stages, increase player population, increase quality of our football, improve the image of the sport, enhance community cohesion and improve the health and wellbeing of our communities,” Forde said.
Guyana Hockey Board head, Philip Fernandes said that the entity has been trying for years to acquire a home for the sport in the city.
“This is an important moment for us and we are very appreciative of the Government recognising this as a need and making it a priority. We see this as a very important step in taking Guyana forward in the sport. The other countries in the Region have artificial surfaces for players to practice; however, we have to play on grass and so this presents us with the opportunity to put full, artificial grass in our facility to enable our young people not only to train in conditions in which they need to compete, but to also invite overseas teams to come and play here,” he said.