Rawle Toney reports
It was the first time that the Upper Demerara Football Association (UDFA) has collectively spoken out on the ongoing dispute with their parent body – the Guyana Football Federation, when they held a Press Conference in the board room of the Critchlow Labour College in Georgetown on Tuesday.
“The UDFA challenges the reckless and unconstitutional decisions of the GFF since the entire process is riddled with violations of the Rules and that guide the conduct of the business of the GFF”, the UDFA President Sharma Solomon said.
Solomon along with his entire executive were joined by the captains of the clubs affiliated to the UDFA, that showed solidarity to the association after the GFF’s decision to suspend the entire executive from all football related activities.
But the UDFA is holding out that the decision was unconstitutional as far as the association is concerned since they have never been charged and placed in front of a Disciplinary Committee where the right to be heard would have been given, based on Article 56 of the GFF Constitution. Article 56 speaks to the judicial bodies consisting of the Discipline and Appeal Committees.
“Since members of the executives were never charged and placed in front the committee, this constitutes a major infraction of the rules of the organisation. Reference is made to the letter of January 13, written to President and Executives of the UDFA by the GFF General Secretary Noel Adonis, which accused the UDFA of “gross insubordination”. In doing so, it is easy to infer that a conclusion has already been made as the guilt before an inquiry was conducted” Solomon pointed out.
According to Article 19 of the GFF’s Constitution, only a congress that is duly convened has the authority to make decisions.
“As far as we’re concerned, we went to several meetings not Congress since the thing they are calling Congress was done in accordance to the GFF’s constitution” Solomon said, while further highlighting “in one case, Mr. Ivan Persaud, The GFF Vice president, wrote to the General Secretary, requesting he be advised who gave the authority for the summoning of an Extraordinary Congress. No response was given to Mr. Persaud.
Solomon, meanwhile, stated that the UDFA is yet to receive in principle, an official document from the GFF, detailing the suspension.
“Right now this Press Conference serves as closure for the UDFA because we haven’t been written by the GFF to say on what grounds we are suspended. Our response here today and seen in the Media over the last couple of days is to say what was said from the last meeting and what our position is. The UDFA presently is moving ahead in planning its football and a fixture would be out in the coming week” The UDFA boss proclaimed.
Collie Hercules may be in the most unique position of all the other UDFA Executives, given the fact that he serves as Vice President of the GFF.
“My stand was not because I’m from Linden and I’m an Executive of the UDFA” Hercules stated, when asked if his position taken to stand up against what he feels was a misuse of power on behalf of the GFF President Christopher Matthias.
“I’m not the type of person to sit by and let something go wrong and not say anything about it, regardless of if it was Georgetown, Berbice or Linden. My stand was basically me saying that we cannot act outside of the GFF’s constitution” the former National Player said.