GFF president optimistic of Caribbean Professional League

first_img…Opens up about sustainable development of game in Guyana THE Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association (CONCACAF), behind their president, Victor Montagliani, announced, last week, a Working Group that has been charged with coming up with a format and structure for a Caribbean Pro League – something that has received much praise from Wayne Forde, president of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF).In an exclusive interview with Chronicle Sport over the weekend, Forde, who is serving his second term at the helm of the ‘beautiful game’ locally, pointed out that a “sustainable Caribbean Professional League that is modelled from the unique circumstances of the Caribbean Football reality, would be the realization of a shared vision of the CFU Member Association family.”“I wish, therefore, to commend President Montagliani for following through on his commitment and to assure my colleagues that, as a member of the Concacaf Competitions Committee, I will do my utmost to contribute to the work of the sub-group,” Forde firmly stated.Chaired by Mexican Football Federation president, Yon de Luisa, with Caribbean Football Union vice president, Randy Harris as deputy chairman, the Working Group has now been added to with former player and former Trinidad and Tobago sports minister, Brent Sancho, and the head of Jamaica’s National Olympic Committee, Christopher Samuda.Operating as a subgroup of Concacaf’s Competitions Committee, the Working Group will also have lawyer and club owner, Manuel Estrella from the Dominican Republic, Patrick Massenat from Haiti, Valdemar Florentino Marcha of Curaçao, as well as a FIFA representative.Professional Football in Guyana“As it relates to Guyana’s football, let me be clear, the GFF focus is on investing in the professional management of the game and NOT on developing of a professional League. We simply do not have the fundamental building blocks at this time for a sustainable professional League,” Forde noted, when asked about Guyana’s readiness for professional football.The former Fruta Conquerors president was adamant that any professional football model that has to be heavily bankrolled by the GFF will not be sustainable, while pointing out that “In addition to this model being unsustainable, it will also consume vast amounts of finances and other critical resources that are badly needed for the cultivation of a sustainable model for Youth Development Programmes, Coaching Education, Referees development, Capacity Building, National Team programmes, Infrastructure development projects, etc. These are the fundamental priorities that the GFF must remained focus on for the next four to eight years.”Forder said that until such time, the National football machinery must remain focus on helping Regional Associations and Clubs to get better at organising football competitions at a consistently good standard, developing a better registration and data management systems, developing a marketing, CSR and PR platform and facilitating technical development of their coaches, officials and most importantly – their players.Forde reminded that “Globally, professional football is played by professional Clubs, with the financial resources to fund their operations. In Guyana, and like most of the CFU region – we do not have professional Clubs. This is mainly because of the scale of Guyana’s economy at this moment in time.”The GFF president, in drawing comparison to the Trinidad and Tobago Pro-League, where many Guyanese players, past and present, had earned a living from the sport, called the Twin Island Republic’s league “a good example of what is required to create the semblance of a professional football League. Despite Trinidad’s relatively strong economy and corporate community – the League exist ONLY because of a Government grant that is used to pay the players as part of a social programme geared towards crime reduction. This is not the Guyana reality.”Speaking on the basis of helping to set up a Caribbean Pro-League, Concacaf’s president, Montagliani said, “It is one thing to help and another to underwrite for 20 years. That isn’t really feasible,” while adding that he sees it as “a bottom up rather than top down approach to create something that supports and grows itself over time. To get to that point, we need to understand the failures of domestic leagues as well their successes.”IMPROVING THE GAMEMeanwhile, at the core, Forde said, the GFF role is to build management capacity at the Club and Association level, by providing training programmes for Club management, competition management, Marketing, Coaching, providing football equipment and supporting infrastructural development projects.Asked about what additional steps the GFF will be taking to improve the competitiveness and quality of the Elite Leagues and Association Leagues, Forde pointed to their ongoing investment into the coaching education, which he believes will continue to influence the quality of the players we are producing as is evident in their youth National teams’ international performances.He, however, cautioned, “What is critical but difficult is to replicate the quality of Coaching that is taking place in the National team’s programme, across Guyana.“The Academy Training Centre (ATC) programme will help with this but in order to really see the returns on these investments, we have to do more in educating the coaches in every Club across Guyana, from the hinterland to the Coastland.“Beyond the technical development programmes, infrastructural development, having the right tools and equipment – we need the Coaches and administrators to be more committed to lifting the standard of football within their respective operational jurisdiction.”Forde said it is “extremely important to have football played consistently at all levels across the country. This is where the GFF will be focusing its attention and resources over the next four years. We will be working tirelessly to strengthen our existing partnerships and establish new partnerships to support a vibrant annual competition calendar.TAKING SOME CREDITAccording to the GFF president, taking into account the substantial amount of work done, both on and off the field of play by his administration, he firmly believes that the evidence firmly supports a bright future for the game in Guyana, even while they continue to grapple with some inherent challenges at both the National and Regional levels.Forde further boasted about his Executive Committee’s restoration of the GFF’s image within Guyana and throughout the Regional and Global community, calling it “a personal source of pride.”Looking ahead, Forde doubled-down on the fact that their future goals are the completion of GFF National Training Centre at Providence, completion of the GFF Football Complex at Durban Park, improving football facilities across the country, making football equipment more affordable and accessible, increasing the number of qualified coaches and being able to fully execute their National Football Calendar.The GFF top brass also revealed that “on the international front, we would like a second appearance at the Concacaf Gold Cup. I would like to see our youth teams advancing beyond the group stage of regional competition consistently and the Golden Jaguars qualifying for the 2026 FIFA WORLD CUP.”last_img read more

Mourinho speaks on Pogba return

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