Forde again!: Forde and slate re-elected to lead GFF
Wayne Forde will spend another 4 years at the helm of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), after pipping his opponent in the Presidential race at the Federation’s Electoral Congress on Saturday morning.
Forde and his slate, comprising Brigadier (ret) Bruce Lovell, Rawlston Adams, Dion Inniss, Andrea Johnson, Denise Lovell, Alden Marslow, Magzene Stewart and Ryan Farias, secured 14 votes, while former Interim President Wilson’s slate secured 8.
In a press briefing following the election, Forde explained that seeing through infrastructural projects was the driving force in his pursuit of another term, and he assured it would be his last term.
“As I would’ve stated in some of my earlier engagements, our motivation was driven primarily by our intention to complete the National Training Center and to embark on a monumental project at the Durban Park Facility, which we signed with Blue Water Shipping yesterday. There are other goals that we have, but those are the primary goals.
“Infrastructure is badly needed for football. We all know this, and we just felt that a transition at this time may have had a negative impact on the progress that we are making,” Forde explained.
Resolute that this would be his final term in office, Forde later shared, “I would just say that it was always our intention. What I stated before I hold true to. We are delivering to the Guyana football family the first home of football. I’m sure you would have already trained your cameras on the four floodlights that are on the field. You see the tremendous work being done to repair the pitch, and I would say to you the deal that we signed with Blue Water yesterday, I understand the timing; it’s the largest deal in the 121 years of football history.”
The GFF election had attracted a lot of attention in the past weeks, especially with the Electoral Committee determining that certain members were ineligible to vote. Forde clarified that he had no involvement in the decision, and said he had sought to reverse it.
“I believe this may be the only opportunity that I will have to set the record straight on the matter of the four members that were deemed not in good standing. It is important for me to state unequivocally that the GFF council, we have had no oversight or involvement in the work of the Electoral Committee. Any questions or concerns that we had, we have to channel those to the General Secretary of the GFF, and when we saw that declaration, I wrote to the committee on the 2nd of December, questioning it, asked them to provide the details and to show us that that decision benefited from input of FIFA and CONCACAF, because we understood clearly that it would have been banded around as though we had something to do with it,” Forde passionately related.
He went on to detail how the matter unfolded, saying, “And in my email to them, I said to them that we have to lead this fraternity. Regardless of where the election goes, we have to continue with our lives, and we cannot have our credibility being undermined with something like this. It doesn’t reflect the character of my administration.
“There’s no act in the time that we’ve been at the helm of Guyana football that can signal any form of corrupt practice, dishonesty on our part, and we were very troubled by it. So, when they did and consulted with whoever they had to and they made that decision, we were happy about it, because we were concerned about how it would reflect on the sport.
“And we were also concerned with turmoil at the Congress had those members been denied,” Forde concluded on the matter.
In spite of Wilson coming up short in the vote, the re-elected GFF President expressed intentions to have a meeting with Wilson in 21 days’ time.
“I believe we want to set an example as a small organization. Football is a relatively small organization in Guyana, compared to larger organizations, but I believe that it is important that, in our own way, we can set an example here.
“While we may have been on opposite sides when we lobbied the members for the office of the GFF leadership, we can now come together and reconcile any differences that we may have had, and find a way to work together to move our sport forward.
“And I will be taking the first step in bringing Mr. Franklin Wilson and his team into a meeting through which we can really see how we can work together,” the re-elected GFF President expressed.
The Electoral Congress was held at the Federation’s National Training Centre (NTC) at Providence, East Bank Demerara, where Forde advocated for re-election under the mandate ‘Football First.’ (Jemima Holmes)