Internal shift puts Goal Project on hold
By Avenash Ramzan
Guyana’s FIFA Goal Project is currently on pause, due to some internal shift within the governance structure of the world governing body- FIFA. This is according to president of the Guyana Football Federation, Wayne Forde, who noted that the resumption of the project is totally in the hands of FIFA.
Addressing the question of how soon the project could actually begin now that most of the documentation have been completed, Forde pointed to the fact that development arm of FIFA has been dissolved, which is the main cause of the delay.
All FIFA funded projects fall under the development arm, meaning that those projects have now been grounded to a halt. Forde further stated that the FIFA office in Jamaica has been relocated to Barbados, and most of the key personnel have been replaced.
“As a consequence of that, all FIFA projects essentially have been grounded to a halt. We were visited by the representative from Greenfield two weeks ago for some preliminary discussion as to when the project will commence and some of the key aspects, admin aspects of business that we need to sort out. I am optimistic that we can actually see work on the project commencing by the last week of January, early February, but a lot of it is dependent on the changes that are taking place at Zurich [FIFA headquarters] at this moment,” Forde explained.
He continued, “The former developmental office has been essentially dissolved, so you would imagine people that were very keen and critical to the execution of these projects [are] no longer involved and new people taking over, so it will take some time. Our project has advanced significantly; I think it’s just a matter of contracts being signed and cheques being released for the work to actually start. It’s out of the Guyana Football Federation’s hands; I think that is the key message here. We have done our part, months ago. Everything that they required of us we have satisfied. It’s now FIFA to deliver.”
The site for Guyana’s first Goal Project has been identified as the Providence Community Centre, a facility the Guyana Football Federation has acquired on a 30-year lease from the Eccles/Ramsburg Neighbourhood Democratic Council.
That was under the tenure of the Clinton Urling-led Normalisation Committee in May 2015. Since then soil testing has taken place with FIFA contracted inspector Dr. Stephen Baker visiting Guyana to conduct that process in August 2015.
The contract for preparatory works on the site was signed in September 2016, and was won by Dwain Ferdinand and Home Designs and Engineering Associates.