Stadium fiasco is darkest day in Guyanese sporting history
Stabroek News
October 2, 2001

Dear Editor,

I have maintained in the past that Guyanese football had no place to go under the stewardship of the current GFF administration. Now the evidence has been presented for the world to see. This week's fiasco involving the GFF, FIFA Vice-President Jack Warner and FIFA President Sepp Blatter, will go down as the darkest day in Guyanese sporting history.

To be sure there have been similarly embarrasing and discouraging displays by the Klass administration in the past. Perhaps now that 'mouth open and tory jump out,' the awful truth cannot be made any clearer. GFF's contemptuous silence on the subject to date, provides ample validation.

My father was a decent player who once was called up to represent (British) Guiana against Trinidad, many years ago. To him that honour was a source of immeasurable pride to the end of his days. It is fair to say that his honour and those of all the other footballers who have ever represented Guyana, have been thoroughly desecrated. So too are the aspirations of the thousands of football players from the Pee-Wee level on up, who hope to some day wear the national colours. And as a fan, I couldn't possibly be more disgusted.

There is only one way forward. The entire GFF regime must resign immediately and new elections called. The new administration must then commission an independent audit of the federation's assets to ascertain its present financial position. While government must also re-examine its role in this fiasco, the onus rests on those who play and support the sport. There are other talented and capable candidates waiting in the wings, who can do no worse. They must be given the opportunity to remove the layers of tarnish that the GFF has allowed to accumulate. 'Out de place!'

The true football community must make it abundantly clear that it is no longer prepared to countenance the haphazard leadership and cynical manipulation that has prevailed over the past years.

It is quite possible that the Klass administration may yet prevail, in the face of almost ten years of lopsided defeats in international competition, suspension from FIFA, sub-standard training and match facilities, questionable financial practices and this week's 'stadium' episode. Should this come to pass then much more cannot be said about Guyanese football.

Yours faithfully,

Gordon Burnett