GFF members praise M-FAP funding and capacity building drive

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Regional associations have welcomed efforts by the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) to democratise FIFA and Concacaf funding and to improve the quality of competitions following its first Members Financial Assistance Programme (M-FAP) capacity building workshop.

At the National Stadium on Saturday, the GFF delivered an M-FAP workshop on the “best practice” organisation of competitions, offering expert guidance to regional association officials as part of its return-to-play planning and pioneering drive to boost funding for its members.

“It was wonderful in every aspect – capacity building is a very important tool for the development of football,” said Bartica Football Association President Alden Marslowe. “The vision of this administration to bring this training programme at this time, when we are hopefully preparing to get back to playing, was a really good idea.”

“M-FAP is unprecedented in the history of football in this country. It will help boost our resources and bring more development at the grassroots level,” he said.

The workshop, which brought together Presidents and General Secretaries from GFF regional associations, provided an overview of the M-FAP funding process and focused on how to align regional competitions with the national programme, competition planning, reporting structures, financial accountability and communications.

“It was brilliant from a management training perspective on how to execute a football product,” said Georgetown Football Association General Secretary Faizal Khan.

Speakers at the M-FAP workshop included President Wayne Forde, General Secretary Ian Alves, Technical Director Ian Greenwood, Youth Development Officer Bryan Joseph, Head of Finance Marco Meredith and Marketing and Social Media Officer Keeran Williams.

“We have learned a lot,” said Troy Benjamin, Secretary of the Rupununi Football Association. “We will be able to better organise football in the various regions. To move football to another level, it has to be organised within a formal structure.”

GFF President Wayne Forde addressing the workshop

Under M-FAP regulations, regional associations can each access up to G$600,000 each year to help with the costs of administration and operations.

Affiliate members can tap into G$500,000 for development projects and Elite League clubs receive up to G$400,000 for equipment and development.

In addition, regional associations receive regular supplies of essential training and football equipment, as well as funding for leagues and competitions for men, women, boys and girls.

“We’re in unprecedented times with COVID – we have even more expenses than ever before to put on a safe, structured product,” said Khan. “It’s a good initiative and long may it continue.”

Brandon Allicock, Acting Secretary of the Essequibo/Pomeroon Football Association, said M-FAP would provide “greater accountability”.

“We now have the resources and equipment to better execute our tasks,” he said.

A second capacity building session is planned for regional association officials responsible for the implementation of competitions in order to build on learnings from the first workshop and to further assist GFF members in the art of effective and efficient competition management.

“We are determined to give our members all the support they need to deliver high quality competitions at all levels in order to boost participation and develop the game,” said GFF President Forde.

“Under our pioneering M-FAP initiative, we are democratising FIFA and Concacaf funding so that our members can tailor financial support to their specific needs. The programme is also an important opportunity for us to share expertise and best practices.”

“Through the training and knowledge exchange on offer through this workshop, we are confident that our regional associations can raise the bar in the delivery of competitions this year, once we are given the green light to safely resume activities by the authorities.” (GFF)

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