The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) on Wednesday evening issued a statement pertaining to Slingerz and Alpha United’s exit from the 2017 Caribbean Club Championship. Below is the full text of the statement.
“CONCACAF has informed the GFF on January 9 last that Alpha United FC and Slingerz FC will not be allowed to participate in the 2017 Caribbean Club Championship since the Regional Body has deemed that the clubs are not in good standing with the GFF.
Both Clubs, by virtue of being the top two place-finishers in the Season 1 of the Elite League, qualified to participate in the Championship.
However, CONCACAF ruled that because the clubs are not in good standing with the GFF, in accordance with Section 111 art. L, of the Caribbean Cup Championship Regulations, and “with the aim of properly safeguarding the integrity, smooth operation and running of the competition, (we inform you that) Alpha United Football Club and Slingerz Football Club are not eligible to participate in the 2017 edition of the Caribbean Club Championship.”
The genesis of this development began when Alpha United FC and Slingerz FC, along with two other clubs, objected to the expansion of the Elite League. Subsequently, the GFF engaged in extensive consultations and negotiations with the clubs in question in an effort to address their concerns.
These consultations proved futile and the GFF reached out to CONCACAF who then provided comprehensive constitutional guidance that confirm the GFF’s authority to “draw up regulations governing the conditions of participation and staging of competitions organized by the Federation.” This interpretation by CONCACAF, sent to the Clubs on November 24, 2016, was acknowledged by the clubs but not contested.
The Clubs, in the said letter of November 24, 2016, were formally notified that their actions would affect their standing with the GFF. In pursuance of the GFF’s statutory obligation, CONCACAF was then formally informed on December 13, 2016, that four clubs had withdrawn their participation in Season 2 of the Elite League.
This then led to CONCACAF on January 9 advising the GFF that Alpha United FC and Slingerz FC were ineligible to participate in the 2017 edition of the Caribbean Cup Championship and directing that the Clubs be so informed. This the GFF did on January 10.
The GFF is particularly saddened by this turn of events as, ultimately, it is the players who are most affected. However, we encourage the clubs to recognize the need for their players to participate in active football. The GFF remains ready to guide and support the process.”