The disaffected clubs – Slingerz FC, Alpha United, Pele FC and Georgetown Football Club, had until last Friday to register for the league that this season will see two additional teams and increased prize money for the teams and players involved.
They failed to do so, which means the league will go ahead without them for this season, something that does not sit well with the GFF president.
“It is unfortunate and ultimately. It will be the players that will suffer,” Forde said. The impasse between the clubs and the GFF, stems from an agreement signed between the parties at the start of the inaugural season in 2015. The clubs claim the GFF does not have the right to change the regulations, among other things, allow for expansion without consulting with them.
In a letter from Slingerz FC, published in the media in Guyana, the club pointed to several reasons, included disrespect shown by the GFF and the suspension of its owner, Javed Ali, for its decision to boycott the competition. “The Slingerz FC will like to take this opportunity to officially inform you and the Guyana Football Federation of our decision to withdraw until our request for arbitration is addressed,” the club stated in part.
“The changes to the original format without consultation and agreement after we had already budgeted and contracted players, based on the original format, Rules and Relegation. The Club seriously objects to the reduction of non-nationals (foreign players) from five (5) to three (3) which was done after the transfer window period and after Slingerz FC had already retained its five (5) foreign players from the first season. The reduction of first place prize money from Eight Million to Six Million.”It continued: “Slingerz FC is contesting the inclusion of two teams to the league in breach of the Guyana Football Federation Constitution based on Art. 9:1 and Art. 10:1B and Art. 10:2.The method used (hand pick) is unacceptable when there are other teams with club licensing. This single handed approach is not football.”
CONCACAF however, had sided with the GFF. Citing article 36.2 it said any agreement that may have been signed last year is not binding.
Even though it does not have jurisdiction over the matter CONCACAF is of the view that the GFF is well within its remit to make the necessary changes that will allow for changes to be made to the league.
“Based on the authority granted by the cited article, the GFF Executive Committee is to issue the GFF Elite League Regulations (and of any other competition organized by the GFF). It must be specified that although the GFF Executive Committee may consult its stakeholders with respect to the content of the regulations, such regulations are to be issued by the sole authority of the committee and based on the powers conferred by the GFF Constitution. In this respect, the Regulations do not constitute a “binding contract” between the Federation and the clubs participating in the league.”
Forde meantime, said he does not understand why the clubs would be against expansion of the league but conceded that a common ground has to be found for the benefit of the players.
“We can’t have those players being out of activity for that long,” he said.