FIFA clears way for sanctions against players and officials

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The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has officially written the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), reiterating that the GFF has the responsibility for organising and supervising all football within the confines of Guyana.

The response was sent to the GFF after the Federation wrote FIFA to inform them of a recent phenomenon where a number of small-sided football games are organised and hosted at the National Gymnasium and elsewhere without the permission of the GFF.

This trend, with its disregard for the GFF Tournament Schedule, GFF Constitution and FIFA’s regulations, prompted the GFF to seek FIFA’s guidance and direction on the matter as the Federation seeks to protect the product of football.

The GFF had also written to the Minister of Social Cohesion, Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. George Norton, pointing out to him its concerns that permission was recently granted for use of the National Gymnasium for a football event dubbed “Rio Futsol.”

Among the other recently unsanctioned tournaments were the 592 Beer Inter-Village Football Festival, the Dragon Stout Street-Ball Community Cup and the “Beat Dem Bad” competition.

These unregulated tournaments also involved players of the GFF Elite League, whose clubs are Members of the GFF, and FIFA was clear in its observations and recommendations.

The Federation informed the Minister that these events were not sanctioned by the GFF and therefore the participation of its players and officials would not have been permitted.

The GFF sought the support of Dr. Norton in ensuring that only competitions sanctioned and regulated by the GFF are played at facilities controlled by the Government of Guyana while pointing out the Federation’s role in the regulation and sanctioning of football.

The World Governing Body, in its letter sent by FIFA Head of Member Associations Governance Services, Mr. Luca Nicola stated that according to Art. 11 par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes, the GFF must be responsible for organising and supervising football in all of its forms in its country.

Furthermore, Art. 72 par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes establishes that “Players and teams affiliated to member associations or provisional members or the confederations may not play matches or make sporting contact with players or teams that are not affiliated to member associations or provisional members of the confederations without the approval of FIFA”.

In this context, we further take note that Art. 13 par. 1 let. c) and h) of the GFF Constitution specifically stipulates that the GFF Members must “take part in competitions (if applicable) or other sporting activities organised/approved by the Federation” and are not allowed “to maintain any relations of a sporting nature with entities (e.g. clubs, leagues) that are not Members or Affiliates” of the GFF.

Finally, art. 13 par. 2 of the GFF Constitution provides for the possibility to sanction, as provided for in the Constitution, any Member who violates any of the aforementioned obligations.

The GFF is reminding all that it is the only Constitutional Body, recognised by CFU, Concacaf, and FIFA for the control of Football in all its forms in the jurisdiction of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana; in accordance of Article 1:1 of the GFF Statutes. Articles 13:c and 13:h of the GFF’s constitution is clear on this issue also.

The roles of the GFF in the regulation and sanctioning of football are:

  1. To ensure that the competition is played in accordance with the Laws of the game.
  2. To ensure that the competition is organised in a manner that places the highest priority on the safety and well-being of the players, officials and the general public.
  3. To ensure that “MATCH FIXING” does not occur.
  4. To ensure that individuals involved in the organisation of the competition are in good standing with the Federation and have not been convicted of any crime.
  5. To reduce to potential of money laundering, illegal gambling and other illicit financial activities.
  6. To ensure that all conflicts arising from a competition are adjudicated through the GFF Constitutional processes.
  7. To protect the image of the Football.

The GFF wishes to once again reiterate in the strongest possible terms that it would be enforcing the Constitution in this regard.

The GFF wishes to assure all Stakeholders that it welcomes the heightened interest in the organisation of football competitions, but must insist that this is done in accordance with the Constitution of the Guyana Football Federation. (A Guyana Football Federation Press Statement)

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