GFF commissions FIFA Forward Project Pitch at Providence
By Avenash Ramzan
“To many we are finally delivering on a promise made almost three decades ago; to some, it is a proud achievement for the local football family; and to others, it is an appropriate reminder of the limitless potential of a stable and unified football fraternity.”
The remarks of Guyana Football Federation (GFF) President Wayne Forde could not be more apt as he addressed the gathering at the commissioning of Guyana’s first FIFA Forward all-weather artificial field at Providence, East Bank Demerara.
History has recorded the successful completion of this much-needed outfield under the stewardship of Forde, after several futile attempts by his predecessors.
Monday’s ceremony was by no means elaborate, but its significance to local football would be remembered for decades to come. (The entire facility should be finished in 2020- see link below)
That it was witnessed by FIFA Director of Member Associations and Development, Veron Mosgengo-Omba, and delegates on the eve of the two-day FIFA Conference of Development in Guyana made the occasion even more momentous.
“Through the FIFA Forward programme we have had both the opportunity and privilege to render ourselves to the unfinished work of those that served before us. It is therefore, with a deep sense of gratitude that I stand here to acknowledge our collective indebtedness to those who served tirelessly and contributed to the success we now celebrate,” Forde told the gathering.
The ceremonial cutting of the ribbon was done by national female player, 15-year-old midfielder Alleia Alleyne of Fruta Conquerors FC.
Despite Monday’s landmark ceremony, Forde stressed that the unavailability of “good quality football facilities” continues to strangle the progress of the game in Guyana. That situation however, is not viewed by Forde as a deterrent, but rather an opportunity to realise an ambitious vision.
“Football cannot fully develop without proper playing surfaces, changing rooms and field lighting. We have to set ourselves an ambitious target to construct one artificial field in each of our nine Regional Associations over the next five years. This task must not be left to FIFA and the GFF alone; we need the Government of Guyana and corporate Guyana to play their role,” Forde indicated.
Director of Sport Christopher Jones reaffirmed the government’s commitment to the development of local football, making reference to the recently-signed MoU with the GFF that will see the construction of a football complex at Durban Park.
“We are here to today to reaffirm the government’s commitment to president Wayne Forde and the Guyana Football Federation. Where it’s necessary and where land needs to be made available to them, we want you to rest assured that such would be done,” Jones declared.
“The government of Guyana recognises the importance of sport development in which our young people throughout the length and breadth of this country will have an opportunity to exercise, to participate, to build and of course to provide the opportunity in which the Guyana Football Federation will be able to scout those young talents throughout the length and breadth of the country.”