13th March, 2017; Georgetown:
Football will become the most successful and popular sport in Guyana as reform and development programmes bear fruit in coming years, Guyana Football Federation President Wayne Forde said, ahead of the launch of the GFF-Pele Alumni Frank Watson Memorial Intra-Association U-15 Tournament on Tuesday, 14th March.
With increased funding from world governing body FIFA and a stable administration in place, the GFF is working to lay a sustainable foundation for football across Guyana through grassroots and youth development, as well as stricter regulations and governance reform.
CONCACAF President and FIFA Vice-President Victor Montagliani will on Tuesday launch the second GFF nationwide youth tournament to be established in the last year, with the GFF-Pele Alumni Frank Watson Memorial U-15 Tournament adding another layer for development alongside the GFF/NAMILCO “Thunderbolt Flour Power” Intra Association Under-17 League.
“By the time my tenure is over as the president of this fraternity, football will be the number one sport in Guyana – I have no doubt in my mind,” said GFF President Forde in an in-house interview. “I think that is something, as an Executive Committee, we will be able to do successfully.”
Forde said the public support and encouragement the GFF had received from FIFA and CONCACAF was instrumental in raising confidence in the sport and the national governing body after years of underperformance. “People are starting to take notice that Guyana is getting serious about football,” Forde said.
“I’m very happy that both FIFA and, with the pending visit of (CONCACAF) President Montagliani, they are essentially saying to us that we have seen what you have been doing and we are pleased, and we are here to support you, and we want everyone to know that we are satisfied with what is taking place in Guyana.”
Forde said plans were now in place to strengthen and reform football governance at all levels around the country so that development programmes could have a long-term and sustainable impact on the growth of the sport.
“The reform process is very relevant to where Guyana football is at the moment and where it needs to be in another couple of years. We will get there,” he said.
“There were credibility issues and it’s important that we break that cycle. Guyana is a country that needs to register its presence, and I have made it a specific responsibility of mine to set a serious tone for Guyana football.”