Hinterland football on the front burner
FIFA’s Director of Member Associations for Africa and the Caribbean, Véron Mosengo-Omba, Senior Manager, FIFA Development, Stacy Lewis-Daniels and President Wayne Forde on Friday paid a courtesy visit to Honourable Minister Within The Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valarie Garrido-Lowe.
The meeting was held at the Thomas Street office of the Hon. Minister where she was informed of FIFA’s attendance at the North Pakaraima Football Tournament scheduled for August 19-26, 2018.
Following the visit, Mosengo-Omba commended the GFF President and the Hon. Minister for the work being done: “We had a very good meeting. GFF is doing a very good job. The objective of GFF is not to limit football, but to take the football to the rural areas, in the rainforest. The Minister is very supportive of this initiative to promote football to the Indigenous people. FIFA is also in support of this and, by extension; the FIFA President supports that too. Hence, I replied positively to the invitation of President Forde to attend the North Pakaraimas Football Tournament and to play with the footballers of that Region. This will be documented and shown to the world how football development is done.”
Forde said the FIFA team will visit the Pakaraimas Region, in part, to afford FIFA a first-hand view of the unique challenges Guyana faces in football development and administration, especially in the hinterland communities: “Guyana will never realise its true potential as a Football nation until such time, that we make the game accessible to our Indigenous brothers and sisters. The GFF’s goal is to highlight the unique challenges we must confront in order to implement a sustainable hinterland football development programme that will guide the investment strategy of the GFF, GoG and FIFA.”
The Minister briefed the guests of the Ministry’s investment in sport and sport development among the Indigenous population and some of the unique experiences/challenges of the hinterland communities.
The North Pakaraima Region is a densely forested area in Guyana, which is the home of some Indigenous tribes.
This tournament is the premier sporting event of this vastly uninhabited rain forest connected by miles of unforgiving trails and treacherous rivers. The villagers’ journey for days at a time, some as much as five days, to experience the excitement and true spirit of the beautiful game.
The GFF extended an invitation to FIFA, including their documentary team, in March 2018 to attend the North Pakaraima Football Tournament.