Sport Minister assures preparation ongoing for return of international football

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Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Charles Ramson Jr. has indicated that international football could return to Guyana soon as work continues to rehabilitate the football pitch at the National Track and Field Facility, West Coast Demerara.

While the Minister did not give a specific timeline, ideally, it could be ready for Golden Jaguars’ Nations League matches in September.

Guyana Football Federation (GFF) President Wayne Forde indicated earlier this month that the Golden Jaguars’ home matches in the June World Cup qualification campaign would not be held in Guyana due to the lack of an appropriate facility.

After playing away to Panama on June 6, Guyana is slated to host Belize on June 11, but it is understood that the match will likely be held in Barbados.

Last year, Concacaf informed the GFF that the playing surface at the National Track and Field facility was below the minimum required standards for international matches and imposed a fine.

The field became 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.

“I have seen an update of the condition right now, and it is getting back to a very good condition and even better than it was before. We are going to be in a strong position to host any matches that are going to be requested of us,” the Minister explained when quizzed on the matter on Friday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.

The Minister further indicated that the severe dry weather last year hampered the ideal irrigation procedures and created less-than-optimal conditions for rehabilitation.

As previously announced, a contract was awarded to Superior Group Inc. to develop the pitch to international standards.

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