Football returns with nationwide kick-off across Regional Members Association
Football swept the nation last weekend as all nine of the Guyana Football Federation’s (GFF) regional associations relaunched Senior League competitions following the COVID-19 pandemic, creating history as the first time that all regions have kicked off league competitions simultaneously.
The Senior Men’s Leagues (SML) in Bartica, Berbice, East Bank Demerara, East Coast Demerara, Essequibo/Pomeroon, Georgetown, the Rupununi, Upper Demerara and West Coast Demerara will see 108 teams and around 2,700 players compete in about 400 games for regional bragging rights, followed by a national playoff.
The Rupununi Football Association also relaunched its Senior Women’s League, which runs on equal billing with the men’s edition.
“Football is back in a huge way, and we are extremely pleased with the huge efforts our regional associations have put in to make this possible,” said GFF President Wayne Forde.
“For the first time in our history, all nine regional associations are playing league football at the same time. This shows the strength of unity and collaborative spirit that exists among our community, and just how far we have come in developing football and organising competitions.”
“The annual delivery of these tournaments across the country will provide opportunities for our youths to showcase their talent, improve their health, and build bridges between our communities,” President Forde said.
“It will also ensure that our homegrown talent gets the requisite playing time to grow and reach its potential in the coming years, boosting our national programmes in the process.”
In some of the weekend’s mouthwatering, standout fixtures, Fruta Conquerors beat the Guyana Police Force 2-1, Monedderlust drew 1-1 with Rosignol United, Tabatinga held Guyana Rush Saints to 1-1 draw, and Eagles United emerged winners from a thrilling encounter with Hi Stars by three goals to two.
“As the season progresses, we urge the public to come out in force and support your teams,” Forde added.
“We wish the players, staff and regional associations all the best for the coming weeks and, if the first weekend is anything to go by, we look forward to some highly competitive, entertaining football and healthy local rivalries.”
Through its Members Financial Assistance Programme (M-FAP), the GFF has provided technical support, training, equipment and financial resources to its regional associations to enable the delivery of the leagues.
“This is why we created M-FAP,” Forde said.
“It is designed to put the power in the hands of our members, so that they have all the resources they need to deliver on their mandates.”