GFC/GCC merging to create National Sports Complex By Donald Duff
Stabroek News
August 11, 2002

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Two of the oldest and most respected sporting institutions in Guyana are contemplating a possible merger to provide an ultra modern sports complex.

According to a press release, the two, Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) and the Georgetown Football Club (GFC) are looking at the possibility of merging the facilities to help surmount problems as a result of difficult economic times.

"To help surmount these problems GCC and GFC have agreed in principle to merge their clubs facilities thus creating a National Sports Complex," The release stated.

The two clubs, home of cricket and football in Guyana have, for over a century, managed and maintained the premier cricket facilities in Guyana hosting many international cricket and football matches in the process.

In fact GCC only this year played host to a Test match between India and the West Indies and the sterling contributions of these two clubs have been crucial not only to the development of the two most popular sports but also to the preservation of Guyana's rich sporting heritage.

The GFC ground, above, left, home to local and international football and the GCC ground, above right, home to local and international cricket will merge to form the National Sports Complex. The two institutions have served sport in Guyana for over a century.

The two clubs have put forward a strong case for the merger which, apart from the two disciplines mentioned will also cater for as many sports disciplines as possible.

"Besides being economically viable, the planned upgraded Sports Complex will also satisfy the serious need that presently exists for additional playing facilities in the Guyanese society as a whole," the release stated.

The idea of a merger was first mooted as a means to providing a venue for the hosting of World Cup cricket matches in 2007.

However, the Guyana Cricket Board said yesterday that they are looking at an alternative site as a merger if the GCF/GCC would not be able to accommodate all the ICC requirements.

The GFC/GCC release stated that following a series of meetings with the GCB and the Ministry of Sport pertaining to the merger for the World Cup, the GCB provided them with a list of the ICC requirements.

"At our own expense we met with an architect and commissioned drawings of the merged facility that incorporated all the ICC requirements. After several re-adjustments to these drawings in an effort to satisfy the ......GCB it became obvious that this was a lost cause," the release stated.

The Ministry of Sport had also proposed that the new facility be administered by a governing board which had the Ministry and the GCB having a clear majority over the representatives of the GFC/GCC combined, the release stated.

The establishment of the National Sports Complex hinges on whether government will renew the leases granted to the GFC and the GCC since the two clubs said in the release that the Ministry has taken steps to block the renewal of the ground leases for both GCC and GFC and the Lands and Surveys department has refused to accept payment of the annual rental.

Ministry officials were yesterday unavailable for comment.