Bounce Back Football Classic allowing GFF to test logistical strength

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In the short to medium term, the framework required to play football will not be the same due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

And according to the Guyana Football Federation’s Public Relations Officer, Keeran Williams, the two-day Bounce Back Football Classic will help the federation to test its strength and better understand how to play under the protocols.

The collaboration between the Kashif and Shanghai Organisation, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport and the GFF is the first sanctioned football tournament in Guyana since the pandemic struck in March 2020.

It is being played behind closed doors and players and officials from the four teams had to be tested for COVID-19, all of which are small steps to the larger picture of more competitive football in 2021.

The GFF has had capacity building and technical support from the “Bounceback” partnership between UEFA and Concacaf.

“It definitely does and what it does, it allows us to gather data and be able to test some of the COVID-19 protocols that would have been put in place,” Williams related to News Room Sport.

“Like many other places, football would have been restarted, but I think everyone could appreciate the fact because of where we are with infrastructure and many other factors, the restart of football in Guyana cannot be comparable to many other places, but nevertheless it can happen through strategic partnership and engagement.”

The next step for the federation will be to engage the national team in training sessions as they prepare firstly for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers then the Gold Cup group stage qualification.

“We are confident we should be able to return to train for the senior men’s national team at a very soon date…we are confident with the progression that has occurred, we are confident we can return to some sort of game action. Our first international game is scheduled for March so it is inevitable we would have to demonstrate what we would have learned at these two games in ensuring we can execute at that level comes March.”

In the preparation for those tournaments, Williams explained the technical team selected players for the tournament who are in the national set and some prospects.

“Our technical team are very much engaged and we have had them identify some of the best developing coaches to get involved and those developing coaches have identified some of the best players who are currently apart of the National team programme and those that they believe can potentially get into that group of senior men’s national players.”

The tournament, which had two matches on Tuesday, will conclude on Friday, January 1 at the National Stadium, Providence.

It will be streamed live on NCN, E-Networks, HJ TV and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport’s Facebook page.

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