Forde calls on stake­hold­ers to put foot­ball first

- says GFF hop­ing to re­sume ac­cess­ing FAP fund­ing soon

Stabroek News Sunday - - SUNDAY SPORT -

Guyana Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion (GFF) Pres­i­dent Wayne Forde said Fri­day that the In­ter­na­tional Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion had de­cided to halt fund­ing to the GFF fol­low­ing an au­dit in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Forde, who was elected to of­fice in 2015, dur­ing an in­ter­view at his GFF Sec­tion-K Camp­bel­lville Head­quar­ters on Fri­day said that an au­dit in­ves­ti­ga­tion had been con­ducted by Price­wa­ter­house Coop­ers (PwC) into the 11-month pe­riod the Clin­ton Ur­lin­gled Nor­mal­iza­tion Com­mit­tee

Forde re­vealed that many red flags and anom­alies were iden­ti­fied which forced the In­ter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of As­so­ci­a­tion Foot­ball (FIFA) fol­low­ing rec­om­men­da­tions from PwC, to place Guyana un­der con­di­tional fund­ing.

He said that while the sit­u­a­tion did not com­pletely hin­der the GFF’s at­tempt to de­velop the sport, it cre­ated a sce­nario which lim­ited their ac­cess to de­vel­op­men­tal fund­ing, in the process af­fect­ing the fed­er­a­tion’s ca­pa­bil­ity to sup­port its Mem­ber As­so­ci­a­tions (MAs) re­spec­tive pro­grammes.

How­ever, Forde de­clared that de­spite the lack of in­ter­na­tional sub­sidy, the fed­er­a­tion has been able to achieve many ini­tia­tives which is con­trary to what is be­ing ped­dled in many fac­tions.

Among the high-points listed by the for­mer Fruta Con­querors Pres­i­dent were the Olympic qual­i­fiers for the se­nior team (Lady Jaguars), U17 (Boys) Caribbean cham­pi­onship, U-15 (Boys) French Guiana In­vi­ta­tional six na­tion tour­na­ment, U-17 (Boys) Mar­tinique in­vi­ta­tional six Na­tion tour­na­ment, where Guyana achieved a his­toric win over Haiti, CONCACAF U-15 (Boys) in Florida, na­tion­wide fe­male de­vel­op­ment league, ink­ing (5) years spon­sor­ship deal with NAMILCO and the Pele Alumni or­ga­ni­za­tion, for the Na­tion­wide U17 and U15 Boys In­traAs­so­ci­a­tion tour­na­ment re­spec­tively, where fund­ing and equip­ment were pro­vided to every As­so­ci­a­tion, the cur­rent prepa­ra­tion of a fine se­lec­tion of U-13 (Boys) that will lead the FIFA 2026 world Cup Cam­paign, play­ing In­ter­na­tional friendlies within the FIFA win­dows against Canada, Suri­name and Mar­tinique, the set­ting up of 13 Academies na­tion­wide, 30 paid coaches on the Fed­er­a­tion’s pay­roll as ir­refutable tes­ti­mony to the in­sti­tu­tion’s achieve­ments over its two year reign.

Forde added that in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment has also been achieved by his ad­min­is­tra­tion, with the set­ting up of a light­ing sys­tem at the Bux­ton Com­mu­nity Cen­tre ground an ex­am­ple. He said that a sim­i­lar ob­jec­tive will be at­tempted at the Bar­tica Com­mu­nity ground.

“We are de­ter­mined to meet those goals that we promised to achieve dur­ing the run up to elec­tions and de­spite a few un­help­ful de­vel­op­ments we re­main pos­i­tive that most of them will be at­tained,” he de­clared.

Forde ac­cepted that while foot­ball de­vel­op­ment is a painstak­ing process and is many years be­hind where it should be, he af­firmed that the sport’s cur­rent land­scape has im­proved.

“We are hop­ing to re­struc­ture our fi­nance oper­a­tions and this is aimed at be­ing in a bet­ter po­si­tion to of­fer more to our MAs so that their pro­grammes could be ex­e­cuted in an ef­fi­cient man­ner, while also po­si­tion­ing the fed­er­a­tion to re­sume ac­cess of the FAP fund­ing,” he added.

Asked about the rea­sons for the de­lay in the long awaited FIFA For­ward Project at the Prov­i­dence Com­mu­nity Cen­tre, Forde said that the le­gal­ity of the lease was the core rea­son for the post­pone­ment. How­ever, he con­firmed that the mat­ter has been re­solved and that the pro­gramme is ex­pected to com­mence shortly.

He fur­ther dis­closed that the GFF is con­sid­er­ing the ini­tia­tive of of­fer­ing play­ers one year pro­fes­sional con­tracts. How­ever, he warned that the pro­posal will have con­di­tions that are ap­pli­ca­ble such as drug test­ing, re­veal­ing, that the in­ten­tion is to cre­ate a pro­fes­sional cul­ture in Guyanese foot­ball.

“Some mem­bers have sim­ply ne­glected their re­spon­si­bil­ity to their mem­bers by fail­ing to or­ga­nize foot­ball within their ju­ris­dic­tion.”

Forde called on all stake­hold­ers to put the beau­ti­ful game first, as they strive for col­lec­tive de­vel­op­ment.

Wayne Forde

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