GFF examining scenarios for resumption of football

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Cognisant of the need to act responsibly, the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) is currently examining different scenarios to help with the smooth resumption of competitive football nationwide.

Local football has been suspended for the last two months owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Players have been restricted to individual fitness work, given the strict social distancing policy in place to help fight the spread of the deadly disease.

President of the Federation Wayne Forde, in giving an update on the situation recently, said while the fraternity is eager for the return of football, the Federation understands the need to remain focused and responsible in helping to minimise the loss of human lives.

“I am always mindful of the signals I send out to the fraternity in my public utterances during these difficult times. Yes – football is very important to our players, fans and the wider stakeholder community. However, what is most important is the preservation of the precious gift of human life hence, we have to be responsible.”

Forde added that in relation to the resumption plan, the Federation has created a playbook with different scenarios aimed at shaping the restart of organised football on a national scale.

The goals are to play a national senior men’s tournament involving all nine Regional Member Associations and Elite League Clubs, the Year-end Super 16 Cup, an Intra-Association Women’s tournament and a short and compact Intra-Association age group competition for boys.

“Affixing dates to these plans are the biggest challenge due primarily to the unpredictable shifting in the cases of COVID-19. We are essentially making educated guesses with the information available to us, as to when we can expect the return to some semblance of normal life. This is obvious not a best practice, but it is the most that we can do under these unprecedented circumstances.”

Under normal circumstances, the GFF’s calendar of activities would commence with the transfer window in early January, before on-pitch action gets underway in late February, early March.

Prior to COVID-19 bringing a halt to local activities, the Federation was preparing for the senior national team’s participation in the Concacaf Gold Cup qualifier, getting the Elite League up and running and youth development programmes off the ground, among other activities.

Those have been shelved and according to Forde, the onus is now on the Federation to ensure stakeholders stay safe by following the stipulated guidelines shared by health authorities.

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