GFF “very satisfied” with COVID-19 results of national players

- Federation yet to receive approval to resume training

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Local-based Golden Jaguars players and members of the management team have been tested for the coronavirus, and according to President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), Wayne Forde, they are “very satisfied” with the results.

However, the players are yet to return to training, as the Federation, as of Wednesday (December 9), had not received permission from the relevant authorities for on-field sessions to resume.

Guyana is slated to compete in the Concacaf Qualifiers of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in March 2021, as well as the Concacaf Gold Cup Prelims during the first half of the new year.

Speaking to News Room Sport on Wednesday, Forde said: “No doubt we’re going to have to re-test the players because of the time that has elapsed from the last time they were tested. So that is a completely different undertaking that we will have to accommodate as we continue to plan for the resumption of national team training.”

While some disciplines have been granted approval from the Minister of Health and the National COVID-19 Task Force to resume competition and/or training in compliance with the existing measures, the GFF is yet to receive a response from the authorities.

“With regards to the preparation of the local players, we await the approval of the COVID-19 Task Force. Once that approval is granted we will commence training, once the testing and all the other protocols that are part of the plan that was submitted to the Task Force had been implemented. So it’s pretty much a waiting game for us,” Forde explained.

GFF President Wayne Forde

The football head highlighted that once that approval is granted they would be ready to commence preparation of the local-based players.

“We are very concerned about the fact that we are unable to put the guys back on the pitch; they’ve essentially been inactive for the better part of a year. Given the importance and quality of competition we will be coming up against, it is critical that we get those guys back on the pitch. We’re paying careful attention to the situation and we are hoping to make the best possible decisions once the approval is granted,” Forde concluded.

For the World Cup Qualifier, Guyana’s Golden Jaguars have been drafted in Group F alongside Trinidad and Tobago, St. Kitts and Nevis, the Bahamas and Puerto Rico.

In the Gold Cup Prelims in July, Guyana has been pitted against Guatemala in Round One. Based on the draw, should Guyana beat Guatemala, they would go on to face either Guadeloupe or Bahamas.

If they win that second contest, they will qualify in Group C of the Gold Cup, joining Costa Rica, Jamaica and Suriname.

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