President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), Wayne Forde, is of the opinion that the GFF has been able to spread its resources evenly. Speaking to criticism of overspending on the Golden Jaguars, Forde has said the work must be done in order to see results.
For the year 2022, the Guyana senior men’s national team played two friendly tournaments overseas, and will depart today for preparation leading up to the beginning of the CONCACAF Nations League.
Answering inquiries about the GFF’s spending and earnings from those upcoming games in June, GFF President Wayne Forde shared a breakdown of the numbers.
“Whenever you pick up the papers and see a GFF national team heading out for an international game, you can safely consider that we would have invested between $12 and $14 million between travel, hotel and other costs,” Forde shared.
“The Nations League is a totally different animal altogether, because it’s a different level we’re operating on. Each away fixture pushes back between $16 and $18 million, and home fixtures come in around $10 and $12 million. So, when you work out the fixtures, you will see what that financial burden will be on the Federation.”
Speaking to those who may believe that the Federation’s focus is solely on the senior men’s national team, Forde denounced this, while noting that the GFF has been managing its resources well.
The GFF boss said, “I said to someone a few weeks ago how challenging it was to play the last two games that we played. And the choice, for me, was very simple: don’t play the games, and save some money. But guess what? How does that affect the preparation that is so crucial?” he asked.
“The GFF wants to qualify for the Gold Cup, and the only way we can do that is to win the group; and while we have very strong opponents in our group, we feel that we have put in the work, and we believe that we have done the work that we need to do to achieve that goal,” he said.
“But the investment is something that we cannot ignore. It’s huge, and it’s for that reason we will continue to engage our corporate partners,” he added on the need for continuous corporate support.
With regard to the Golden Jaguars’ extensive Nations League preparation, the GFF boss posited that without the preparation, the Federation cannot see desired results.
“The notion that the national team itself is gutting our resources, it’s not true. Because we’ve managed as many as five national teams over the past six months; you’ve seen the Under-17 Girls, the Lady Jags, the Under-20 Girls, and we have on the horizon the Under-15 Girls, the Under-17 Boys,” he commented.
Forde continued, “So we maintain, as best as we can, a good balance. The leagues kicked off yesterday, we’re providing support there through the MFAP programme. We’re outfitting our teams with equipment. So, the Federation has been doing quite a lot, and it’s because we’re prudent and shrewd in terms of how we really manage our resources.”
Standing on his belief that the even spread is clear for everyone to see, Forde concluded, “I believe anyone with a fair pair of eyes looking into what we’ve been trying to do the past couple years would have to acknowledge we’ve been making an effort. It hasn’t been easy, but I think the evidence is clear that we’re making impact.” (Jemima Holmes)