One Guyana Cup is more than football – President Ali
– aims to get players into the World Cup
President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali said his government will work with the Guyana Football Federation as well as other stakeholders for Guyana to obtain a space in the World Cup.
In fact, the president reiterated his government’s commitment to removing all barriers that may prevent players from getting into the big game.
The head of state made the disclosure Wednesday evening, during the official launch of the highly-anticipated event at the Baridi Benab, State House.
Dr Ali explained that following his outreaches across the country he found that Guyana has tremendous talent that is not being utilised in national sport and school development.
“I found that the format of cup football is a good format and for us to achieve a vision of getting to the next world cup, we had to get a tournament that allows us to see every single player perform,” he pointed out.
The president announced that, at the end of the tournament, he is committed to jointly working with the Guyana Football Federation to select a pool of 75 players to establish a national team, which will subsequently be converted into the national football academy.
“Aim at making football your food and fuel for the next couple of years in preparation of us going to the world cup. You will have to subject yourself to training. We are going to work in putting you in the part-time employment programme so you can have some amount of income,” the president urged the players.
He encouraged women to get onboard with football, citing the intention is not only to have men dominating the sport.
Meanwhile, President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), Wayne Forde stated that the tournament will be remembered as a crossroad for football development across Guyana.
He noted that the president’s football undertaking has a community-based format that forces the GFF to push beyond its limitations.
“I am pleased to announced that on the 11th of this month we will witness 25 of the most gifted players from each of the ten regions vying to be the inaugural champion of the One Guyana Cup,” Forde stated.
Every player that will be part of the 25-man squad will receive a one-off incentive of $80,000. The captain and head coach of the team will receive $100,000 each.
As the teams progress through the tournament, for every victory they will earn US $1, 000 to be shared among squad members, and as they move to the semi-finals they will earn US$2,000.
Cumulatively, the tournament will have an incentive budget exceeding some $30 million. President Ali thanked all sponsors for playing an integral part in the games. Among those are Caribbean Airlines, GTT, Ansa Mcal, Digicel, E-Networks and the Beharry Group.