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Carrington questions Electoral Committee’s decision to suspend members voting rights

- says verdict can be construed as biased

Berbice Football Association 3rd Vice President Philip Carrington has questioned the basis behind the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Electoral Committee barring the Guyana Police

Force (GPF), Western Tigers, Santos, and

West Demerara from voting at the elections on Saturday, noting that decision can be interpreted as prejudice.

This was disclosed during an exclusive interview with Stabroek Sport. According to Carrington, “Why are you saying these clubs are not in good standing but are playing in the Elite League? Where were they allowed to be in the Elite League and not in good standing with the federation? That shouldn’t happen, and now you want to debar them, which shows a suspicion of bias because you believe that you [Forde] might not get the votes from them and that they might be seen as anti-Forde. Why debar them from voting if you are preaching about free and fair elections?”

He further said, “The claim is that these clubs are not in good standing; these are some of the biggest clubs in the country. Why are they not in good standing, and what were the criteria used to say that they are not in good standing, and where were they told that and given time to put themselves in order? If the WDFA is not in good standing, how come they finished a league and got a representative [Slingerz] in the playoff? Then that team shouldn’t be there and part of the tournament because, by default, the team is under the umbrella of the association. It just looks suspicious and seems biased.”

The GFF Electoral Committee officially released the list of eligible voters for Saturday’s elections, revealing that 18 entities will be eligible to exercise their franchise and that Santos, Western Tigers, the Guyana Police Force (GPF), and West Demerara are ineligible.

According to the Electoral Committee via an electronic email, “On the third, having regard to the provisions of the GFF Statutes and the GFF Electoral Code, including Article 15.1 of the GFF Statutes, the Electoral Committee has determined that the following Members are in good standing: Bartica Football Association; Berbice Football Association; East Bank Football Association; East Coast Demerara Football Association; Essequibo/Pomeroon Football Association; Georgetown Football Association (GFA); Upper Demerara Football Association; Rupununi Football Association; Guyana Football Coaches’ Association; Guyana Football Referees’ Council; The Women’s Football Association; Ann’s Grove Football Club; Buxton United Football Club; Den Amstel Football Club; Fruta Conquerors Football Club; Guyana Defence Force Football Club (GDF); Milerock Football Club; and Victoria Kings Football Club.”

“Consequently, the following are determined not to be in good standing: 1. West Demerara Football Association; 2. Guyana Police Force Football Club; 3.

Western Tigers Football Club; and 4. Santos Football Club,” the Electoral Committee further disclosed.

However, Carrington questioned the rationale behind Milerock of Linden retaining their franchise, probing, “How can Milerock, who got relegated since the Elite League finished in August or September, still vote? That is a question that needs to be answered because this tournament that is going on is not the Elite League. That ended in August or September, and after that event, they were relegated, so they shouldn’t be eligible to vote. It looks like they are victimising the four.”

According to Carrington, the Berbice association is often sidelined in the larger discourse of the sport despite its rich history, adding, “We recently have been marginalised despite being one of the larger associations and the only association to govern two regions. I believe they come to us when they need to get in the limelight and get votes. We are always in good standing and are always on the right track.”

He noted that the decision of the opposing slate to write CONCACAF and FIFA seeking an intervention in the matter should have only been explored if attempts to remedy the situation with the GFF were exhausted.

Carrington explained, “First thing first, I’m not sure if they reached out to the GFF to remedy the situation. They should always try to fix the issues in-house before seeking intervention from CONCACAF and FIFA. They should have tried. I hope to deal with it at home before going overseas. I am unsure if they did that, but if they did, then it is the right course of action because it’s a chain of command.”

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