“Bounceback” initiative: GFF ready to resume football in safe and responsible way

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The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) is primed to resume football activities in a safe and responsible way as soon as approval is granted by the authorities, thanks to capacity building and technical support from the “Bounceback” partnership between UEFA and Concacaf.

This is according to President of the GFF, Wayne Forde.

Speaking to the media during a virtual press conference that also featured Ms. Eva Pasquier, UEFA Head of International Relations, Mr. Howard McIntosh, Senior Projects Manager at Concacaf, and UEFA consultant and former Scottish Football Association CEO Mr. Stewart Regan, President Forde said: “The support and expert guidance of the UEFA Assist team, and Concacaf, during this crucial phase of planning has been invaluable as we prepare to navigate the next steps towards the careful resumption of football.”

“This programme has enabled us to accelerate our preparations with confidence and to strengthen our administration and management capabilities in order to ensure that our community feels safe and confident to return to the field of play.”

Through the “Bounceback” programme, European football administration experts work with partner associations around the world to develop an action plan for the resumption of football and focus on four key areas: technical development, league and clubs, commercial, governance and administration.

Within the programme, the GFF has established a COVID-19 Task Force to oversee and implement the safe and responsible return of football when conditions and permissions allow.

Detailed “return to train” and “return to play” protocols have also been developed for national teams, regional associations and clubs, and community football.

The GFF has sought approval for a return to action from the National COVID-19 Task Force – a step that is seen as crucial in order to give the Golden Jaguars enough time to prepare for their historic return to the Concacaf Gold Cup next year. Rival nations have already started their own preparations.

Speaking on behalf of UEFA, Ms. Pasquier said: “The President and leadership team at the GFF have put a huge amount of work into the UEFA Assist Bounceback initiative and we are delighted to see the quality of their action plan. It is very rewarding to see their determination to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and we will be by their side on their journey.”

As part of the programme, the GFF has also launched an engagement strategy to keep the football community connected during the lockdown, featuring a social media campaign “#wecare,” which features football drills and exercises conducted by GFF ambassador players and coaches.

“Concacaf is fully committed to supporting its member associations through a variety of capacity-building initiatives. We have teamed-up with UEFA Assist to deliver a structured programme called Bounceback to help the GFF recover from the impact of COVID-19,” said Concacaf’s McIntosh.

“We are very impressed with their work ethic, and their leadership, through their President, Wayne Forde, will be a key contributory factor in their progress during 2021 and beyond. We wish them every success.”

The GFF is only the second member association in the Concacaf region, after Mexico, to be selected for the UEFA Assist progranme. (GFF)

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