GFF and GFA reconcile to reestablish the integrity of football by signing binding agreement overseen by visiting governing bodies
GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- In the best interest of football, the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) and the Georgetown Football Association (GFA) agreed to reconcile their differences on Thursday following recommendations provided by guest officials from international governing bodies FIFA and CONCACAF.
After various meetings between FIFA Vice-president and CONCACAF President, Jeffrey Webb, FIFA Director of Members Associations and Development, Thierry Regenass, and pertinent local stakeholders involved, GFA has agreed to withdraw the injunction in the civil court imparted to the Guyana Football Federation while GFF will recognize GFA as a full member and reinstate their voting rights, among other points.
"The goal of this visit has been to create dialogue within the football community, find cooperation and have a reinvigoration of the sport in Guyana. We have met with all parties involved to give them the opportunity to engage and participate in the resolution of these matters," said Webb. "We are very pleased with the commitment we have seen throughout our meetings to promote the sport and ultimately reach a final agreement. We trust we will set a clear roadmap to restore the integrity of the game among all the GFF Member Associations."
Regenass confirmed that, as part of the reconciliation process, FIFA will accept the GFA's written commitment that all injunctions are immediately withdrawn in the local civil court thus avoiding the need to submit this issue to its Executive Committee for sanction.
"In the spirit of reconciliation and for the progress of football in Guyana, we have gathered to assist in the process of reaching a binding agreement with our full supervision of its roadmap to ensure the fulfillment of all requirements," said Regenass. "We are hopeful to see a unified football fraternity in Guyana. We should move forward past matters and build for the future development and growth of the game in the country."
During private meetings held at the Pegasus Hotel today, a delegation representing GFF, led by acting President Franklin Wilson and General Secretary Noel Adonis, and officials from GFA, headed by President Vernon Burnett and General Secretary, Christopher Matthias, both parties have agreed to move beyond their past grievances under CONCACAF and FIFA recommended provisions regarding past disputes.
"In an effort to regenerate an environment of trust, we are in accordance with the resolutions rendered today provided all parties comply with the agreement," said Wilson. "We thank CONCACAF and FIFA for coming to Guyana in order to re- establish a good atmosphere and cooperation among all football stakeholders."
"We very much welcome this intervention," said Burnett. "In the interest of the development of the game, GFA would like to contribute to football by agreeing to the developmental proposals made by FIFA and CONCACAF in this agreement."
Under the terms of the agreement, the following points have been accorded by both parties, where each party respectively undertakes the following responsibilities:
1. GFA agrees to permanently withdraw all legal actions lodged before the ordinary courts of Guyana against the GFF by 14 January 2013;
2. GFF agrees to immediately reinstate all membership rights to the GFA upon withdrawal of all aforementioned legal actions;
3. Upon the signing of this Agreement, GFA agrees to offer to reinstate all membership rights to Alpha United FC, Western Tigers FC and Pele FC. The aforementioned clubs will be granted until 16 January 2013 to accept reinstatement and to make nominations for the upcoming GFA Executive Committee elections;
4. GFA agrees to hold an Electoral Congress on 19 January 2013 for the election of its Executive Committee and that such Congress will be monitored by the GFF;
5. GFF agrees to hold its annual Ordinary Congress by 15 April 2013, at which elections for its Executive Committee will be held;
6. GFF shall take all necessary steps to create as soon as possible but no later than 31 January 2013, an Electoral Commission comprised of 3 independent persons to oversee and supervise its electoral process in accordance with the principles of the FIFA Standard Electoral Code. Such nomination will be confirmed by FIFA;
7. GFA agrees to reimburse to GFF all reasonable expenses associated to the May 2011 annual Ordinary Congress, upon presentation of the respective invoices. In case of dispute in relation to the relevance of a presented invoice, the matter will be submitted to FIFA and CONCACAF for a decision;
8. GFF agrees that it will offset all amounts owed to the GFA from the aforementioned expenses linked to the May 2011 annual Ordinary Congress;
9. GFF and GFA acknowledge that recourse to ordinary courts is prohibited under the provisions of FIFA, CONCACAF and GFF Statutes and expressly guarantee not to seek such recourse to ordinary courts to settle their disputes in the future. GFF and GFA are aware of the potential sanctions that could be imposed by FIFA and CONCACAF in case of breach of the aforementioned provision.
This Agreement will be submitted to FIFA for review and endorsement. FIFA and CONCACAF will work together with the soon to be elected GFF Executive Committee in order to ensure the proper implementation of the governance and judicial principles contained in the GFF Statutes.
Given that all associations should conform to the FIFA statutes, both international governing bodies have made clear that any future infringement will not be tolerated and further actions will be taken in accordance with FIFA and CONCACAF statues in the case this agreement is not fulfilled.
Webb and Regenass have also held meetings with all nine GFF regional Associations and a delegation of the Guyana National Team in order to include all stakeholders involved in the decisions taking place during their official visit to Georgetown.
Webb also held an early-morning meeting with the Minister of Sports, Dr. Frank Anthony, to talk about the development of the sport in Guyana moving forward.