Football’s return to play in all regional associations is history-making in Guyana
Football swept the nation on Sunday, as all nine of the Guyana Football Federation’s (GFF’s) regional associations relaunched senior league competitions following the COVID-19 pandemic.
This has created history, as it is the first time that all regions have kicked off league competitions simultaneously.
The Senior Men’s Leagues (SML) in Bartica, Berbice, East Bank Demerara, East Coast Demerara, Essequibo/Pomeroon, Georgetown, the Rupununi, Upper Demerara, and West Coast Demerara will see 108 teams and approximately 2,700 players competing in about 400 games for regional bragging rights, followed by a national play-off.
The Rupununi Football Association has also relaunched its Senior Women’s League, which runs on equal billing with the men’s edition.
“Football is back in a huge way, and we are extremely pleased with the huge efforts our regional associations have put in to make this possible,” GFF President Wayne Forde has said. “For the first time in our history, all nine regional associations are playing league football at the same time. This shows the strength of unity and collaborative spirit that exists among our community, and just how far we have come in developing football and organising competitions. The annual delivery of these tournaments across the country will provide opportunities for our youths to showcase their talent, improve their health, and build bridges between our communities.
“It will also ensure that our homegrown talent gets the requisite playing time to grow and reach its potential in the coming years, boosting our national programmes in the process,” Forde added.
In some of the weekend’s mouthwatering, stand-out fixtures, Fruta Conquerors beat the Guyana Police Force 2-1; Monedderlust drew 1-1 with Rosignol United; Tabatinga held Guyana Rush Saints to a 1-1 draw; and from a thrilling encounter with Hi Stars, Eagles United emerged winners by three goals to two.
“As the season progresses, we urge the public to come out in force and support your teams,” Forde added. “We wish the players, staff, and regional associations all the best for the coming weeks, and if the first weekend is anything to go by, we look forward to some highly competitive, entertaining football and healthy local rivalries.”
Through its Members Financial Assistance Programme (M-FAP), the GFF has provided technical support, training, equipment, and financial resources to its regional associations to enable delivery of the leagues. “This is why we created M-FAP,” Forde has said. “It is designed to put the power in the hands of our members, so that they have all the resources they need to deliver on their mandates.”