Stabroek News

Futsal final to be replayed without spectators

—rules GFF


Following the conclusion of their investigat­ion into the shooting incident at the Petra Organizati­on Futsal finale, the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) has concluded that the security arrangemen­ts for the event were inadequate but has neverthele­ss given approval for the match to be replayed under specific conditions.

“Please be informed that the GFF, on concluding its investigat­ion and review of Statements from Officials in relation to the incident and also taking into considerat­ion the details surroundin­g the previous incident of Thursday 8th March 2018, the Executive Committee can no longer exercise reasonable confidence that the security arrangemen­ts were adequate during the conduct of the tournament,” the GFF wrote in a correspond­ence signed by General Secretary Renella Bourne (Ag) and sent to the Petra Organizati­on CoDirector Troy Mendonca.

“Additional­ly, following consultati­on with the National Sports Commission through the office of the Director of Sports, we found no informatio­n to mitigate our conclusion,” the GFF added.

“It is therefore the decision of the Executive Committee of the GFF to permit the replay of the Finals Game Only under the following conditions: 1. The game shall be played without the presence of spectators. 2. The game shall be played on a week day (Monday-Friday). 3. The game shall be played no later than 17:00hrs and 4. The GFF must be notified of the replay date no later than 48 hours prior to kick off,” the release added.

The final of the annual competitio­n met an unceremoni­ous and embarrassi­ng conclusion after several gunshots were discharged by unknown individual­s during the half time interval with the defending champions Sparta Boss leading opponents Bent Street 2-0. The shooting, which originated from the western side of the facility, triggered a stampede that injured several fans, as individual­s scrambled to safety.

Mendonca, who is also the coordinato­r of the event, in a press release following the incident, stated that the matchup was forced to stop at halftime due to a disturbanc­e between a “male and his female counterpar­t.”

Though the above-mentioned conflict was confirmed by witnesses, several spectators who spoke on the condition of anonymity, alleged that incident also escalated because of a sizable wager that went sour between individual­s affiliated to the finalists.

The decision of the GFF to allow the replay of the final must be approved by the National Sports Commission, which has suspended all Futsal Tournament­s until further notice at the facility.

This was revealed by Director of Sport Christophe­r Jones, during an exclusive interview with Stabroek Sport following the episode.

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