Over $12M given to Regional Member Associations to fund Senior Football Leagues


The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) President, Wayne Forde, on Thursday, presented a total of twelve million four hundred thousand dollars ($12.4M) in cheques to the GFF’s nine Regional Associations (RAs) for the staging of the 2023 Senior Men’s League across Guyana.

Over the next few weeks, each RA will organise and kick off their Senior Men’s League, funded under the GFF’s Member Financial Assistance Programme (M-FAP), with 104 football clubs across Guyana benefitting from this investment.

The GFF’s pioneering M-FAP programme, launched in 2020 with the full approval of the GFF Congress, supports the GFF members under four pillars: Administration & Operations, Equipment & Material, Competition & Technical Development, and Infrastructure Development.

President Forde said the GFF has been working closely with the Regional Associations over the past four months to support their readiness for the 2023 season and build on the success of last year’s historic post Covid-19 return to play league commencement.

It will be recalled that on May 15, 2022, for the first time in Guyana’s football history, all nine Regional Associations kicked off their Senior Men’s League as a clear and unified signal of Guyana’s return to play.

“We have been talking with the Associations for the better part of four months, guiding them on some of the essential planning processes they needed to undertake to ensure they were ready to launch and operate their Senior Men’s League. They were required to prepare and submit to the GFF key documentation such as the league fixtures, rules/regulations, and a budget for the season. Barring the individual venue challenges football is facing in Guyana, coupled with the inclement weather at the moment, my Associations are ready for their leagues. I want to thank all of my Presidents for their hard work and leadership,” President Forde said.

President of Bartica Football Association, Aiden Marslowe, collects. his cheque from GFF President, Wayne Forde 

He added that “M-FAP is important to the entire football fraternity. We have already seen M-FAP’s impact on football in Guyana over the last three years. We recognised during last year’s Regional Associations League that additional resources and funding were required, so this year, we have answered that call by allocating more funds to each RA.

Forde noted that the financial programme is “unprecedented and very unique to Guyana. As a member of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), no other country within our hemispheric football body, CFU in particular, has a well-structured funding programme as is the case here.”

Also present at the simple June 22 handover ceremony, which was held at the GFF Georgetown Secretariat, were Senior Men’s National Team Head Coach Jamaal Shabazz and GFF General Secretary Ian Alves.

Shabazz stressed that the regional league is an integral platform for identifying national and international talent in Guyana.

“It’s an important stepping stone for the national team because the Regional Associations produce players, coaches and teams for the Elite League…and from there, they are in a pool where they are chosen for national and international football. GFF has taken a position with M-FAP in terms of support, and now the onus is on the Regional Associations to take that support and run with it,” Shabazz said.

The Georgetown Football Association (GFA) will be the first to launch its league.

GFA President Otis James confirmed that the kickoff date is Sunday, June 25. “This 2023 season will be a bit more competitive because we came from the Covid-19 situation. Now we are much better equipped.

We are looking forward to Sunday at 6 p.m. to start the senior men’s league,” James said.

President of the Upper Demerara Football Association, Wainwright Bethune said the M-FAP funding has placed his Association in a good position to start their league.

“As we all know…we’ve had some issues in terms of having a regular senior league, and today…placed us in a good position so that we can start our 2023-2024 season. So, we are very much looking forward to that,” Bethune shared.

Bartica Football Association President Alden Marslowe said they are ready to build on the success of last year’s league in Bartica, with nine clubs registered to compete this season.

“Last year, we had a very successful Senior Men’s League at Bartica, and once again, we are really happy that the GFF has come on board with the M-FAP programme to ensure that our league runs into a second year, and we’re looking forward to making it a success again,” Marslowe said.

Essequibo/Pomeroon Football Association President Marvin Pearson added that he is “quite excited about the Senior Men’s League, which will be kicked off on July 8.” (GFF)

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