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Slingerz FC to head to court following CONCACAF ruling

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By Treiston Joseph

Slingerz FC plan to engage the attention of the courts for financial compensation after CONCACAF debarred the team from participating in the 2017 Caribbean Club Championship, even after being registered for the tournament.

Slingerz FC, after earning their spot on the CONCACAF tournament, were debarred because they, along with Alpha United, the other club to qualify, were deemed to be in not good standing with the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) because of a disagreement with the federation to expand the Stag Elite League, which according to the club was in a violation of the league rules.

In an interview with News Room Sport, Secretary of Slingerz FC, Colin ‘BL’ Aaron indicated the reason for the club heading to the courts.

“We were not suspended of anything; it’s strange with CONCACAF to accept we not in good standing, that is the first question you should ask: were they suspended? Were they before any disciplinary committee or judicial committee? No; why are we not in good standing?

“So if we not in good standing, what is not in good standing? Nobody in the world could tell you what is not in good standing…explain to us what is not in good standing and what is our current position in Guyana football. Based on that we will now seek compensation for money spent to get to this direction when we qualified- we qualified and there is no legitimate reason for us to be out; if we committed an offence this is the position we had to live by it we would have no issue with that, we does live by the rules, but this is not the case,” Aaron pointed out.

Speaking on the debarring ruling by CONCACAF, Aaron expressed his bewilderedness by the swiftness of the ruling by the regional body.

“First, it is a bit strange for a reputable organisation like CONCACAF to be dragged into something without first trying to get an investigation into what really is the issue at hand and what caused the clubs to be in this position to exit the league and they should have made a pronouncement then rather than being forced into a direction mainly by the President of the GFF [Wayne Forde], who stated that the four clubs [GFC and Pele being the others] who pull out of the league are not in good standing,” Aaron opined.

Meanwhile, Aaron expressed his disbelief with Forde’s assessment of the situation to CONCACAF, noting that it not only forced the clubs out of the tournament, but senior players out of jobs.

In addition, Aaron revealed that the club will take no part in any competition until the situation is resolved, especially since the President of the club spends approximately $40 million annually on the club without any returns.

Nevertheless, Aaron shared that the club will keep the Under-15 and 17 arms of the alive. Moreover, Aaron noted that it is the players taking the biggest hit due to the actions of the GFF to aid in the debarring of the clubs from the tournament.

Slingerz FC and Alpha United have been debarred from the tournament, despite qualifying by finishing winner and runner-up respectively in the 2015/2016 season of the Stag Elite League.

However, the ban came about because CONCACAF reserves the right to debar any club from the tournament, which is not in good standing with its federation, in this case the GFF, or CONCACAF itself.

Both clubs, along with Pele FC and the Georgetown Football Club (GFC), fell out of favour with the GFF because of an executive decision by the GFF to extend the league from eight to 10 teams without holding a GFF Congress.

In addition, CONCACAF also noted the GFF’s executive committee has the constitutional authority to modify the league. With Slingerz FC now set to engage the judicial system, the current imbroglio could go on for a while.

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