President meets with FIFA Head

Georgetown, Guyana – (April 11, 2017)

President David Granger was, this morning, paid a courtesy call by President of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), Mr. Gianni Infantino and his delegation, who are currently in Guyana for the sod-turning ceremony for the FIFA Forward Project at Providence, East Bank Demerara. The meeting was held at Base Camp Ayanganna, before the commencement of this week’s Cabinet meeting. Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon and Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton were also present at the meeting.

The visiting delegation, which includes two former star football players, Mr. Juan Angel of Colombia and Mr. Pablo Aldao of Argentina, was accompanied by President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), Mr. Wayne Forde, First Vice President, Brigadier (Ret) Bruce Lovell and Second Vice President, Mr. Rawlston Adams. 

During their discussions, President Granger said that much more needs to be done with regard to training and the provision of resources to bring the game of football up to the same popularity as cricket. He explained that Guyana shares an extensive border with Brazil, which is considered a football powerhouse and that, in many ways, has generated great interest and love for the game in Guyana, particularly in the hinterland. 

He said that collaboration between Guyana and FIFA, which has the expertise and resources to support the further development of the game in the country, will give young people in those regions the opportunity to become world-class football players.

Meanwhile, Mr. Infantino said that the Caribbean Region is blessed with exceptional natural talent for sport in general. “Every kid that we could take off the streets to play football is a benefit for society,” he said. He also spoke of the possibility of greater collaboration through the mechanism of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

In this regard, the FIFA Head requested that President Granger, who is the current Chairman of CARICOM, use his office to ensure a meeting between the football and regional body is included on the agenda for the next Heads of Government Conference. He indicated, too, that a similar request was already communicated to the Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. Keith Mitchell, who will take over the responsibility of Chairmanship in July.