by Rawle Toney
They have spent the last two decades being Guyana’s premier sporting event and now, the tournament which has become a house hold name hangs in a balance. The Kashif and Shanghai Organisation which promotes an annual year-end tournament is still awaiting word from the sports local governing body for the “go ahead”.
The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) and the Kashif and Shanghai Organisation appear deadlocked in negotiations on how and if the 24th edition of their annual year-end football activity would be a reality.
At a press conference held on Wednesday, the Organisation attempted to reach out to the public in an attempt to explain that they have all intentions of hosting the tournament.
Co-Director, Kashif Muhammad explained that unlike previous years, negotiations between the GFF and his Organisation are taking considerably longer, and at this stage “some distinct uncertainties have arisen in relation to the staging of the Tournament”.
Aubrey ‘Shanghai’ Major sat as the Organizing Secretary of the GFF under the Colin Klass regime. After the former President was implicated and suspended by FIFA in the cash for vote scandal that shocked the world, elections were eventually held and saw an entire new body taking over.
The Guyana Football Federation has explained that it is only enforcing the rules and all promoters of football in Guyana need to follow those rules. The GFF wants all football tournaments to come through a sub association of the GFF. The only sub association that appears to be lending support to the Kashif and Shanghai Organisation is the Women’s Football Association which has been relatively inactive for years.
Recently, GFF President Christopher Matthias said the issue has nothing to do with any one organization or promoter but rather all of them needing to follow clear rules when it comes to holding tournaments.
In 2010, the Georgetown Football Association and the GFF were deadlocked in a heated debate as GFA President Calvin Burnett challenged then GFF President Colin Klass for the right to have full voting rights and affiliate status for his association.
The spat led to the GFF disbanding the GFA until the matter reached the High Court.
This saw the genesis of the GFA/Banks DIH tournament which ran simultaneously with the K&S.
For two years in a row, the K&S and GFA tournaments ran head-to-head until FIFA Vice President and CONCACAF President Jeffery Webb and his team headed to Guyana and put an end to the standoff.
But now, K&S is crying foul; a sentiment in which they had expressed to Webb in a recent letter penned by Major to the CONCACAF Boss.
Matthias in a Kaieteur News article dated September 22, said that “the Federation received a letter from the Guyana Women’s Football Association on August 28, 2013 which purported to act on behalf of K&S Organisation asking that during the period November 2013- January 1, 2014 they be granted permission to stage the tournament. Except for January 1 no other specific dates were mentioned in the letter which is one of the requirements for hosting tournaments.”
Meanwhile, the K&S Directors said that they are “are less than satisfied with the posture taken by the GFF on this matter. Our communication with the Federation has not been answered directly” adding “what has particularly disturbed us is the fact that we have been reading in the media developments which, in our view, ought to have been communicated to us directly”.
The Kashif and Shanghai Organisation believes that the “new requirements are onerous particularly (a) the requirement that the various teams invited to play in its tournament be engaged individually by our collaborator, the Women’s Football Association and (b) the requirement that each sub-Association from which the teams come be negotiated with individually and directly”.
“Against the backdrop of these financial uncertainties including uncertainties that are now being expressed by potential sponsors, the GFF continues to insist on assurances regarding the timely payment of its sanction fees and the lodging of prize monies or assurances of payments. Clearly, this situation has placed us between a rock and a hard place”, Muhammad pointed out.
News Source understands that the GFA has also applied to the GFF to have their tournament during the same period that the K&S Organisation applied for; something they (K&S) said is of much concern to them “that the GFF appears prepared to sanction a competing tournament by another organization during the same designated period, a circumstance that makes little sense given the limited market and resources for football in Guyana, he further added.