Gold Cup qualification belongs to entire nation, says GFF head

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Qualifying for the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup qualification was the collective achievement of everyone who has contributed to Guyana’s football and it will take a further joint effort to reap the full benefits, according to Guyana Football Federation President Wayne Forde.

Guyana defeated Belize 2-1 on March 23 at Leonora to make the historic qualification. The win means Guyana would be represented at the Gold Cup for the first time in history.

“I would like to call on all our stakeholders from politics to business to appreciate the magnitude of this opportunity and to work with us to embrace its potential,” Forde said in a statement.

GFF President Wayne Forde

Below is the full statement issued by the President Forde.

“Qualifying for the Men’s Concacaf Gold Cup is an achievement that belongs to the entire nation. I want to dedicate this moment to everyone in Guyana who loves football: anyone who has ever coached a team, played the game, managed a club, any organisation, company or person that has sponsored or supported football, and anyone who has ever contributed at administrative level.

This is our collective victory. It could not have been achieved without you. So many great football servants have gone before us and we stand on the shoulders of those giants.

It is truly a very humbling experience for me to be at the helm of the sport at this time and to share this extraordinary accomplishment with the other dedicated members of the GFF Executive Committee, who contribute in equal measure to the intense work and many sacrifices this qualification campaign demanded of us all.

I feel a deep sense of pride for the sport, in particular, which has had its challenges both on and off the field for many decades. The sum of all tourism promotion and advertising cannot surpass the global visibility that the Concacaf Gold Cup will bring to Guyana.

When our boys walk out on to the pitch for their first game, the millions of people that will be watching either live or on television around the world – will Google “Guyana”.

I would like to call on all our stakeholders from politics to business to appreciate the magnitude of this opportunity and to work with us to embrace its potential.

What action those fans around the world take after that Google search will be vastly influenced by what pops up, so let’s give them good content and a good impression of our nation – its beautiful landscape and wildlife, its investment opportunities, its people, its sporting talent, and its culture. Let’s show our country in the best possible light.

There is still a tremendous amount of work required in order to lay a robust and lasting foundation for the sustainable development of our sport. We are finally moving in the right direction, but we need everyone on board as one team to achieve lasting success.

The GFF cannot overhaul football without the help of corporate Guyana, the Government of Guyana and other key stakeholders. A well-run sport will produce well rounded men and women – Guyana wins when football wins.”

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