Football field at National Track and Field Facility to undergo rehabilitation
Upgrades to the center pitch at the National Track and Field Facility, West Coast Demerara, have commenced and, upon completion, should be of international standard.
The field has become the home for both international and major local football, but for most of 2023, the senior men’s and women’s home matches had to be played overseas due to the condition of the pitch.
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr. indicated that the ground does not require a significant overhaul, but does require upgrades.
“We have started to repair the field internally, but to get it to the level we want it to be, which is an international level, we already awarded a contract to repair the field,” the Minister stated at a recent press conference.
The Minister noted that the undulations on the field, which developed over time, are only truly understood after a thorough assessment.
“We were disappointed knowing that was the condition, but it is not something we will have to live with,” the Minister expressed.
It is understood Superior Group Inc. has been awarded the contract.
In February 2023, the Guyana Football Federation indicated a shift in venue for the Golden Jaguars’ home match to Barbados.
“The decision to move the match from Guyana to Barbados was approved by Concacaf following a thorough review of facilities here, including the National Track and Field Centre, Leonora,” the GFF said back then.
“The GFF General Secretary Ian Alves, in a letter to Concacaf, explained that the pitch at Leonora is in poor condition inclusive of sparse grass coverage in many areas,” the GFF release outlined.
Alves’ letter further stated: “The stadium authorities have recently treated the grass for infestation, which makes it possibly injurious to the health of players. This situation would have to be monitored and evaluated in a few weeks to ascertain the reduction or total removal of this threat.”
In September, Guyana’s Lady Jags’ home game against Dominica in the Concacaf Road to Gold Cup was also shifted to Barbados.
The decision to change the venue from Guyana became necessary after Concacaf imposed a fine on Guyana following the home game between the Golden Jaguars men’s team and Bahamas in the Concacaf Nations League at the National Track and Field facility.
Concacaf had informed the GFF that the playing surface was below the minimum required standards for international matches in imposing the fine.
Wayne Forde, President of the GFF, had said that the Federation was not in a position to assure Concacaf that the playing surface would meet the minimum requirement, despite efforts by the facility authorities to correct the situation.
He added that the GFF looks forward to hosting home matches in the near future once the venue meets the requirements.