Stabroek News

I say to Jefford, persevere, Kashif and Shanghai will fail again

- Dear Editor, Sincerely, Claude Bennett

If we ever needed a reason for all the drama that Edison Jefford endured last year when he tried to host his annual Futsal event, look no further than the just launched Kashif and Shanghai ‘One Guyana’ tournament. It is clear that the reason the young man endured the oppression he faced last year for his Independen­ce Cup has to do with the fact that several dinosaurs wanted him extinguish­ed from football.

So, last year they refused him access to the Gymnasium and Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, both venues that should be accessible to any citizen, forcing him to transform the National Park into a hub for his event. The obviously very skilled and talented Jefford did so with much success, and anguish for the dinosaurs at Guyana Football Federation and National Sports Commission. But we have to be very clear here and not paint with a broad brush. It is plain to see that there are individual­s within the GFF and NSC who may have some vendetta against Jefford. I say this because just recently I noticed Jefford’s Classic Mile on the National Calendar of Events of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, so he seems to be in good standing with some while others are targeting him.

I believe that the principals of the Kashif and Shanghai Organisati­on, who both hold Government positions, one as NSC Chairman and the other at the Ministry of Tourism, are the ones who are wielding whatever little power they may have behind the scenes to oppress and victimise the young man. My position here has everything to do with the fact that the Chairman of the NSC, which the Gymnasium and Sports Hall falls under, would have had some say in bouncing Jefford from the venues last year. In addition, having seen what Jefford did with the National Park last year, Kashif and Shanghai is now going there during the period that Jefford held his tournament. It is my view that they ensured they got rid of Jefford using their relationsh­ip with the GFF and its outgoing President, Wayne Forde (his tenure should come to an end constituti­onally this year), so that they can control the Independen­ce period under the ‘One Guyana’ farce.

I will talk about the conflict of interest for both public officers, Kashif and Shanghai, at a later date. This is history repeating itself though. The greed that forced Kashif and Shanghai to give up on Linden after hosting their football tournament there for 20 years has become characteri­stic of the duo. If, after 20 years of ‘big goal’ football, you have to be manipulati­ng institutio­ns to host ‘small goal’ football, it simply says there has been zero growth for the Kashif and Shanghai Organisati­on. This is the same reason their tournament­s had failed and they had lost their support base.

Their interest remains the same and now that they are hovering around the corridors of power, they are using that network against up and coming sports organisers. It is completely unfair what happened to Jefford, who has certainly built up a reputation for himself as one of Guyana’s premier sports coordinato­rs. I say this on the basis of his just concluded Mile event, I saw it online and I have never seen so much people attend a distance race in Guyana. I paid attention last year and I am doing so now, the minister and the President should not relinquish their “One Guyana” sobriquet to two hustlers, who clearly doesn’t understand that now that they are public officers, they cannot also be promoters.

What I want to say to Jefford is persevere, Kashif and Shanghai will fail again, just as they did when they abandoned Linden, just as they did when they became contractor­s and left the school quarter done after collecting most of the money, and just as they did when they attempted to hijack the small goal football scene before with an internatio­nal tournament. Editor, Kashif and Shanghai dominated the year-end football period in Guyana for years. They took great offense to anyone who tried any activity during that period. Now here they are, basically wresting the Independen­ce period from a young group. The tenets of their latest effort has nothing to do with ‘One Guyana’, it is their usual money heist.

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