Rawle Toney reports
On April 12, 2013, Christopher Matthias became only the second President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) over the last 20 years; taking over a country’s football that was in turmoil.
His ascension from General Secretary of the Georgetown Football Association (GFA), to the highest seat of the sport’s local governing body was seen as one with great hope and high expectation, but now, exactly nine months and seven days later, this country’s administration seems to be in limbo.
Following the resignation of one of his three Vice Presidents, Rawlston Adams, the suspension of another Collie Hercules, Matthias is now facing a stiff challenge by his lone Vice President Ivan Persaud.
Persaud in a letter to the GFF top brass, dated Sunday February 2, asked him to “resign from the office of the Guyana Football Federation with immediate effect”.
The call for Matthias to resign certainly didn’t happen overnight.
Fueled by the suspension of the executives of the Upper Demerara Football Association (UDFA) and the replacing of the entire Bartica Football Association with an interim body, on January 28, Persaud wrote to Matthias, informing him that he will no longer continue to attend meetings until a proper Congress is held and the situation with the two Associations, return to the status quo.
“further to my letter dated January 28, 2014, to which I am still awaiting a response, I write once again as a matter of principle and to provide added information which I pray will cause you do the right thing and set Guyana’s Football free of tyranny and dictatorship” Persaud wrote.
Persaud in his February 2 letter to Matthias also called the recently concluded GFA Banks Beer tournament illegal since he’s aware that the GFF affiliate was not given permission to run the third installation of its competition.
“Mr. President, I am fully aware of the fact that the GFA as of today did not have any approval in writing or signed any contract for the hosting of their tournament and as such, they too should have been banned and suspended at the illegal Extraordinary Congress which you held unconstitutionally. The Guyana football fraternity would be happy to know when a similar ban will be extended to the GFA and its executives” Persaud wrote.
Persaud went on to label the GFF President as a liar, stating in his letter “Sir, you also lied to this nation when you left Guyana to attend a FIFA meeting in Zurich on September 2, 2013 and never did so and reported that you did. Sir, if you do not comply with this, my humble request, I will be left with no other alternative than to take the action necessary to save Guyana’s Football and the future of the youths of our country”.
Meanwhile, upon being contacted last evening via telephone, Matthias acknowledged the letter, only stating that “the GFF will respond to his (Persaud) letter shortly”.
Asked if the letter would reflect a personal one or that of the GFF, Matthias said “as President of the GFF, when I speak officially, I represent the entire Federation”.