One Guyana Cup to build nation’s credentials – President Ali
The ongoing One Guyana President’s Cup will build the nation’s credentials in football, and improve the way the country treats sports, President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali said Sunday evening.
In fact, the Guyanese leader believes that the heated playoffs will significantly add to the transformation of Guyana’s economy.
The head of state made the statement while speaking to journalists on the sideline of the opening of the One Guyana President’s Cup at the Leonora Synthetic Track and Field Facility, Region Three.
The president said he is satisfied with the games and the level of investments his administration has made.
“Sport is a very important element in building a strong society. But for us, this football tournament is geared towards a specific purpose, and that is to see how we can build our capacity, build experience, bring more players in have a better look at players from across the country,”
Dr Ali underscored that the first match Sunday evening showcased talented players from Region Nine.
“This tournament gives us the ability to bring together the best possible pool of talent we have in football across the country, so we can build a national formula in which the vision ultimately is to invest as much as we can to put all the effort, we can to getting a team to the next World Cup,” the head of state added.
A number of private sector members have indicated their willingness to support future games. Dr Ali believes that the gesture is significant and will expand the games slated for 2023.
President Ali called for every Guyanese to rally around the players through the various segment of the games and congratulated the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport and the Guyana Football Federation for the effort in organising the games.
“I see this as raising the bar from many perspectives. The guys from the Football Federation and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports are extremely professional. The way they organise things is really encouraging, the level of professionalism,” he added.
Additionally, he said government is working on expanding every sport and building facilities across the country to support all these disciplines.
Meanwhile, 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.