GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) — With a keen eye on safety, Guyana Football Federation (GFF) President Wayne Forde said his organisation is taking all the steps necessary to restart competition in the country.
Forde was speaking after the federation announced the appointment of a task force to guide it through the resumption of the sport in the country against the backdrop of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“The GFF is taking every action necessary to bring football back in the safest way possible, once we get the green light from the authorities,” Forde said.
“This is likely to be a gradual return to action in order to manage the risks as we roll out the robust and pragmatic plan we have developed in our partnership with UEFA.”
The GFF task force will oversee all preparations for the safe and responsible return of football activities in the coming months, following a request to the Government of Guyana’s National COVID-19 Task Force to resume training and competition as conditions allow.
The task force met virtually on November 17 will manage all areas of the GFF’s “Bounceback” plans, including all health and medical factors, legal matters, coordination with the National COVID-19 Task Force and communication and collaboration with GFF members and all football stakeholders.
“The key to a successful resumption of football will be making sure we remain flexible, respect the guidelines at all times, while guaranteeing that all stakeholders are engaged and consulted, so that we can all get back to the game we love as soon as possible,” he said.
The “Bounceback” programme is an initiative of European football’s governing body, UEFA, and the GFF is the second nation in the Concacaf region to benefit from the expertise to prepare for the safe return of the game.
“The UEFA Assist Team has been very impressed with the quality and attention to detail shown by the GFF in developing the ‘Bounceback’ action plan,” head of International Relations at UEFA, Eva Pasquier said.
“This has been evident right from the top of the organisation and the President Wayne Forde has fully supported the initiative, participating fully in all sessions and inspiring his leadership team to be creative in their approach.”
Concacaf Senior Projects Manager Howard McIntosh, who has also been involved in the process, said: “COVID-19 has changed the world and football is no exception. It is critical that all member associations and national teams establish a framework for operation in a COVID-19 world. We salute the GFF’s efforts in this regard.”
The 17-member GFF task force will meet weekly for an initial period of one month and comprises a wide range of stakeholders from across the game in the country.
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