GFF/K&S year-end tourney tipped to rejuvenate local football
The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) and the Kashif and Shanghai (K&S) Organisation have partnered to host the first full-fledge senior football tournament in close to two years.
Late last year, they partnered to host a ‘Bounceback’ football tournament, but that was mainly for four invited teams.
In an interview with the News Room Sport this week, Co-Director of the K&S Organisation, Kashif Muhammad, said while he is uncertain about the quality of play that will be produced, he is sure the tournament will be the jolt the fraternity needs to fully restart in a COVID-19 environment.
Muhammad said there are some “football hours” in some players’ legs, but in terms of teams playing and the level of cohesiveness they wish to see materialise, he stated: “I am not sure how it will happen.”
“This is getting an opportunity to measure how our players are, because pretty soon they are going to be heading to big international tournaments. So, we will be happy to just have them get out there, get those youngsters to start playing ball again, and have spectators come out and see football again.”
The straight knockout tournament will have 19 teams – 10 Elite League teams and nine Association teams – and will kick off on Friday, December 10, at the Guyana Football Federation’s National Training Facility at Providence.
Muhammad indicated that planning has not been the customary, given the strict COVID-19 regulations they have to implement.
He indicated that the COVID-19 Task Force will be on-site to offer support and all persons interested in attending the matches must have at least one dose of vaccination.
With regards to players’ vaccination rate, he revealed those numbers are high and, in some cases, teams are fully vaccinated (both doses).
The tournament has 10 scheduled match dates, some of which are key in what the Co-Director describes as giving each host area a ‘spectacular day’.
They head to Bartica and Leonora on Sunday, December 19, and return to Region Seven on Christmas Day along with Buxton, while on Boxing Day, matches will be held at the Mackenzie Sports Club, Linden.
He further revealed that talks are ongoing about the possibility of hosting the championship game at the Mackenzie Sports Club ground.
Muhammad said the prize money will be between six to seven million, which will be split accordingly among the top teams.
The GFF is expected to announce soon the detailed prize structure for the tournament and the organiser stated they are working overtime to ensure the Most Valuable Player is fittingly rewarded outside of cash incentives.