Head of Referees, Stanley Lancaster has been dismissed with immediate effect while Referees Assessor, Roy McArthur, has been provisionally suspended.
This was revealed by President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), Wayne Forde in a sudden meeting yesterday at the federation’s office, Section K Campbellville.
“This is the first time that an investigation of this kind and scale has taken place in Guyana’s football. There has been a significant amount of institutional learning during this difficult process. I can assure our football Fraternity and the general public that the Guyana Football Federation is now better equipped to handle issues of this nature,” Forde said reading from a prepared statement.
“The Guyana Football Federation wishes to reiterate its unwavering support for all women and girls in the sport, and we remain committed to their empowerment and development. The federation will not condone any form of sexual harassment, abuse, inappropriate behaviour or discrimination within the football fraternity, past or present. We know that this problem has plagued football for many years – but, we are taking a formidable stand against it,” he added.
The inquiry, which commenced in March 2018, was commissioned following allegations of sexual harassment by several female referees against senior members of the referees fraternity.
On February 2nd 2018, 17 male and female referees signed a three-page letter, calling for the removal of Lancaster, citing unprofessionalism and incompetence among other issues.
More than 16 individuals gave testimony before the probe panel, with the majority being females originating from the Georgetown district.
Following the conclusion of the Inquiry, the report was submitted to the GFF on November 19.
While Lancaster has been dismissed with immediate effect, McArthur’s fate will rest in the outcome of disciplinary proceedings by the GFF Disciplinary Committee under the newly-approved Disciplinary Code.
Forde explained that the matter pertaining to Keith O’Jeer has been handed to the Disciplinary Committee and said he could not make any pronouncement until the committee makes a decision.
The GFF, said Forde, “Will take steps necessary to support the healing of those affected and to do what we can to urgently rebuild trust in our fraternity.”
“Let me be very clear to our entire fraternity: Sexual harassment, abuse, inappropriate behaviour and discrimination of any kind have no place in football whatsoever. While football cannot fix society’s problems, under my leadership, the GFF will do everything it can to improve the football environment and protect the integrity of the women and girls in the sport, “Forde said.
The five-member commission that presided over the COI also included Dr. Melissa Ifill of the University of Guyana, Karen Joseph, Human Resources Consultant, Karen De Souza, Red Thread and Joy Nichola Marcus-Red, also of Red Thread.