GFF announces return of competitive football nationwide

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After a COVID-imposed break of two years, competitive football is set to return in the nine Regional Members Association of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF).

This was announced on Friday by President of the GFF, Wayne Forde, who pointed out that the regional governing bodies will soon launch their individual events to kickstart the ‘Return to Play.’

Starting next month, the Federation will commence four competitions- a Regional Association Senior Men’s League, the GFF Women’s Development League, the NAMILCO Under-17 Boys League and the Blue Water Under-15 Girls Development League.

These competitions will be launched by the Regional Associations and the GFF Competitions Department in partnership with the sponsors, Forde highlighted.

The GFF competition team has been working closely with the Regional Associations to support the planning and preparation for Senior Male League.

“At the moment we have in excess of 115 Clubs registered,” Forde said.

Representatives of the nine Regional Members Association and GFF officials share the head table

In alignment with the GFF Club Charter programme, all Clubs across the Regional Associations are being deemed “Category Three Clubs” with the exception of the 10 Elite League Clubs.

Under the “Category Three Clubs” heading, Clubs are eligible for assistance from the governing body.

“Once these Regional Association Clubs complete the registration process, they receive four size five balls, 25 cones and 12 bibs. I am pleased to announce that more that 90% of the participating Clubs have completed their registration,” Forde added.

“Our aim is to create history by having all nine Regional Association Leagues kicked off simultaneously on May 15th. This will give more than 2,500 young men an opportunity to show case the talent they were blessed with and present themselves to the Golden Jaguars Scouting Team.”

The GFF head continued, “In August we will be playing the GFF Champions Cup, where the respective Regional Association League Champions and the first runners-up will be competing in a straight knockout tournament to be crowned the National Champion.”

Some of the trophies that will be up for grabs

Importantly, there would be no promotion or relegation of Clubs this season.

“It is mainly to aid the preparation and capacity building efforts we are undertaking at Regional Association for the smooth rollout of the 2023 season, which will kick off in September of this year and will see the return of the Elite League and a more structured Regional Association Male and Female competition programme. In this short season, the Elite League Clubs will compete within their original Regional Associations, where everyone will enjoy much needed game time,” Forde explained.

Meanwhile, Head Coach of Guyana’s Senior National Men’s football team, Jamaal Shabazz, lauded the Federation for leading the charge in helping Regional Members Association to get back on their feet ahead of the impending restart of local football.

Shabazz highlighted that the effort at the regional associations is key to the success of the overall national programme, and he tasked the regional heads with playing their part in developing that product.

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