After months of outcry from local referees about not being paid for their services, President of the Guyana Football Federation Wayne Forde, under whose mandate the Guyana Referees Council falls, has cited several reasons as to why the referees are not being paid in a timely fashion.
Speaking with media operatives, following the conclusion of the 4th annual Limacol football tournament, Forde explained that the Guyana Referees council’s inability to host their Annual General Meeting (AGM) and international tournament expenses are amongst the reasons why the local referees have been officiating games at a loss.
“Sometimes we have to bend and twist ourselves to figure out how we do that and meet all these other expenses,” Forde stressed.
The pointing of fingers in the payment issue was initiated by the Referee’s council, who had called out the GFF for the payment of fees. However, Forde alleged that the Council’s go-slow pace in conducting their AGM is the reason why negotiations for payments has not occurred.
“Many factors have impacted that. One is that we’ve not been able to get the referees council to organize its annual general meeting so at this moment the Federation doesn’t have a Council to really work with to get the support that we need to administer certain aspects of it,” the GFF Boss explained.
Going further into the issue, Forde went on to state that the Federation has seen added expenses and pressure, owing to the increased number of international games that they are forced to play, as compared to times past.
“But beyond that we’ve had our own challenges. Quite often we tried to communicate to the public that the level of international football that the Federation has been called upon to play is unprecedented as compared to any other time in our football history,” he said.
Forde went on to explain, “The 2019 CONCACAF Nations League campaigns calls us to play two extra games as compared to 2018, where we had to play 4 games. And I will say to you that an international game whether home or away comes at no less than about 19 million. So when you take that into account, you have to play that tournament, there isn’t an option for us not to play it.”
Nevertheless, the Federation president did not shrug off the GFF’s responsibility, but rather revealed that the governing football body is preparing to qualm the issue in the near future.
“But we recognize that there are some outstanding payments to the referees, some of it goes way beyond our time but very soon, in a matter of a week or week and a half we’re going to be making a very bold effort to resolve the situation as far as possible,” Forde disclosed.
“It’s an uphill task but we’ve been able to keep it ticking over the past couple of months and I should say years,” he went on to state. (Jemima Holmes)