GFF proposes upgrade of associations’ grounds
By Avenash Ramzan
The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) is proposing the upgrade of a ground in each of its affiliated associations, but is calling on government to play a more “robust role” in making those plans a reality.
President of the GFF, Wayne Forde, recently disclosed that the federation has intentions of working in tandem with the associations to ensure one ground in each jurisdiction is fully equipped to facilitate football training and night games.
“We have taken an initiative that is being managed by our second Vice-president Rawlston Adams, and he is running the Infrastructure Committee. We have written to all our associations and we’ve asked them to sit down in a statutory meeting and identify a ground that they would like to see the Federation facilitate investment in over the next two years. We believe we can do a ground every two years,” Forde explained.
The GFF head pointed out that sponsorship has already been secured for the provision for light poles for the intended upgrade of the venues.
“I think we have close to about 40 poles which we have secured so far. We have suppliers that are being very kind to us in giving up 55 feet poles. I’m actively in conversation and exchanges with a Chinese company for lights, and the idea is once we secure poles and lights and hopefully cable, we would now go to the government and say ‘we have a ground in Linden; this is the minutes of that meeting and the executives have agreed that this is the ground. We have the poles, we have the light; what can you do for us?” Forde divulged.
He further intimated that the GFF will approach the government to have the lights feed directly into the utility service, thereby sparing the clubs/associations from carrying the financial burden for electricity.
Additionally, Forde said the GFF will never have the capacity to rebuild facilities around the country; hence, a partnership with the administration of the day is crucial to moving the process of development forward.
“The development finance that we receive from FIFA is simply to run programmes: to run our coaching programme, and our technical programmes that support the game. To do this, the government will have to play a very robust role, and from what I know they have in the budget that was approved they have allocated a significant amount of investment, and I’m reliably informed that some grounds have been identified,” he stated.
Forde continued, “Of course, the Guyana Football Federation did not participate in that process, so we do not know if the grounds that have been targeted in the early stages of the investment are grounds that are being used by football clubs or associations.”
The football boss further indicated that the time has come for all and sundry to get serious about sport, and the creation of proper spaces for energies to be exerted is one way to start.
“If anyone wants to know how serious a nation is for sports just look at the condition of the empty patch that is considered a ground for any school. If you have a school that has a ground and it is overrun by bushes and is a grazing pasture for horses and cows- that is the clearest indication of how serious a nation is about sport,” Forde reasoned.
Although the GFF has been in existence since 1902, football grounds around the country remain in a poor state, with some lacking basic amenities such as proper seating accommodation and washroom facilities.
Upgrade on the cards for football ground in Guyana