GFF commences payments to players for 2012 Mexico game
The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) has commenced one-off payments of US$500 to national team players and staff assigned to the 2014 FIFA World Cup “home” qualifier against Mexico, following an in-depth, independent investigation into the matter.
The move draws a line under a divisive issue that previous administrations had failed to address, despite the long-held concerns of one of the most gifted groups of players and coaches Guyana has produced.
“We are pleased to be able to resolve this matter at last, following a transparent and detailed investigation,” said GFF President Wayne Forde. “The investigation showed that it is right for the GFF to make this one-off payment now as a gesture of goodwill to some of Guyanese football’s greatest servants.”
“We hope that this payment will go some way to repairing the disappointment that many of our national heroes have rightly felt due to this matter, especially after years of loyal service to the Golden Arrowhead.”
The Golden Jaguars had lost 3-1 to Mexico at the Azteca Stadium in June 2012 in the third round of Concacaf’s qualification process for the biggest prize in football and were due to play a blockbuster home tie as part of the group round-robin in October.
However, the GFF leadership at the time sold the hosting rights for the match, which ultimately took place in Houston, Texas, in October 2012.
Guyana lost 5-0 and finished bottom of the group. At the time, there were claims that the team had been offered a cut of the hosting rights deal, and players have lobbied for recognition since.
The current Forde-led Executive Committee, which took office in 2015, pledged to resolve the issue and appointed an independent consultant to investigate the matter.
“This generation of footballers was a credit to the nation and it has been a source of shame that this issue remained unresolved under previous administrations,” said Charles ‘Lily’ Pollard, a member of 2012 squad, former national captain and current Senior Men’s Team Assistant Coach.
“I would like to thank the current GFF leadership for taking this issue seriously and for working diligently to investigate and resolve it. I hope we can all now close the door on this chapter and I look forward to working with the GFF to create a new generation of heroes.”
Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson, also part of the squad in 2012, said: “I am grateful for the actions of the GFF and the Executive Committee in finding a workable solution for the Mexico payment. For many of the players, it was always more about the principle than the money – we wanted our voices to be heard and for a fair solution to be found. I’m glad we can now move on and focus on the future of our football.” (An official Press Release from the Guyana Football Federation)