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President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), Wayne Forde (WF) described 2017 as ‘remarkable’ for his Executive Committee, telling Chronicle Sport’s Rawle Toney (RT) in a ‘Question and Answer’ interview, that they’ve been able to deliver on promises made during their campaign in 2015.Forde also offered some insight into the GFF’s attempt to regularize the game and how their affiliates will benefit.See full interview below.RT: How would rate your executive committee’s year and what would you consider your biggest accomplishment for 2017.WF: It has been yet another remarkable year for the Executive Committee; we are delivering on every campaign commitment and beyond. We made commitments to implement a NEW Intra-Association Football model for the four critical development age groups: U-13, U-15, U-17 and U-20. We have delivered the NAMILCO U-17 and the Frank Watson U-15. We will announce the U-13 & 20 early next year.We have created a stable football environment which is evident by three successful congresses we have had over the past two years.Perhaps the commencement of construction of the Providence National Training Centre is the most significant accomplishment for 2017, simply because of the level of doubt that had crept into the minds of our stakeholders and the general public.We are quietly and rapidly making fundamental changes to the operations of football in Guyana by laying strong foundations and building structures for the future of the game.RT: What does 2018 holds for youth football, both male and female?WF: In 2018, we will be focusing on improving and expanding the Scotia Bank Academy Training Centre programme. With the U-13 and U-20 Intra-Association Leagues coming online, the demand will be greater on the technical staff. The 13 Academies are managed by 35 paid coaches delivering standard age-specific weekly sessions.The Academy coaches will be busy preparing the players for a planned U-15 Boys South America tour scheduled for February and an U-19 Boys European tour scheduled for June/July. The U-15 and U-17 Girls will be very busy this year as well.As it relates to the senior women, despite there being no official fixture announced thus far, we will most certainly be giving them some game time as plans are being made for a tri-Nation tournament in Guyana early this year.RT: Regularising the game seems to be a point of focus for you, but since the announcement, some concerns were raised that the GFF wants to control the game, and some fear victimisation. Could you elaborate on this process and providing a level playing field for all?WF: The GFF wants to bring order to football which is severely lacking at this time. We have developed a 2018 Competition calendar that seeks to streamline competitions. The Federation has to assign specific periods for specific competitions; this is common throughout the football world.But more importantly, the Executive Committee has a constitutional mandate to control football in all its forms for an unlimited period within the jurisdiction of Guyana; Article 1:1.The Federation and its members are the original owners of all rights emanating from football competitions and events within the jurisdiction of Guyana. Article 77:1.The Executive Committee shall decide how and to what extent these rights are utilised and draw up special regulation to this end. Article 77:2.The foregoing is a further illustration of our mandate and despite all of the empty talk about victimisation, the real issue seems to be the flagrant refusal to treat football with the respect it deserves.My executive committee will not bend toward the will of anyone; we are here to represent the best interest of all stakeholder, i.e. members, sponsors and players, in a fair and transparent manner. These regulations that everyone seems to dread without the benefit of the details, will protect investments, secure time slots and improve standards of competitions.We will continue to build partnerships that are characterized by mutual respect and respect for the rules and laws of the game. The game is bigger than everyone and must be respected by all despite the vicissitudes of the past.RT: Street football, one of the most popular unconventional formats of the game, how does this fall into the regularisation scheme of the GFF?WF: The GFF Constitution is patently clear on this matter. Perhaps the question that should be asked is; who benefits from an unregulated version of the game. Who will adjudicate conflicts that may arise during the game? Who trains and develop the officials? Who train the coaches that trains the players? Who will ensure that the period approved for a competition will not be trespassed on by a competing organiser of equal size and reach?Who will ensure that the Federation and its member’s competitions do not overlap with unsanctioned competitions? Who will ensure that the safety of players, officials and fans are protected? Who will ensure that the games are not manipulated and/or fixed and if such occurs, who will impose the requisite sanction?While there is a definite need for a change in attitudes toward the game and the Federation, I am both surprised and disappointed by the waste of energy this decision has provoked. I would encourage all stakeholders to relax and participate in the consultation that will take place before the regulations are drafted.RT: A 3% levy fee is now mandated, as approved by Congress. How would this be ‘policed’ by the GFF, to determine if the gate or prize money is greater?I wish to first and foremost highlight the following points: (1) The Executive Committee recognized that the 15% levy that was in place for the past 10 years was prohibitive and difficult to impose, given the current sponsorship landscape.We took a decision to reduce that amount by 12% and lock it in for the next two years. (2) The GFF pays 3% levy to CONCACAF for international friendlies.(3) The levy DOES NOT GO TO THE FEDERATION; it will be collected on behalf of the members and will be used to support football operations at the Association level and capacity building and administration programmes.(4) The implementation of the Congress-approved levy will go to the regulation Committee where it will be drafted following an extensive consultation exercise, before it is presented to the Exco for approval.The Committee will recommend what tournaments will attract a levy, when that levy should be paid and who MUST pay the levy.RT: How much does the work at the GFF mirrors that to CONCACAF, given the fact that they too had made some structural changes to their operations, especially their club tournament?WF: The GFF is generating ideas on how to grow and reform the game independently. However, from a policy and regulatory stand point, we are aligning our operations with FIFA and CONCACAF.RT: Futsal and beach football have been two of the most inactive affiliates of the GFF; what is being done to see these associations reaching their mandate, and what is being done to properly put a structure in place for those two formats?The 2018 football calendar has set out seasons for both beach and futsal. The GFF will be working much closer with these members to ensure that sponsorship and funding is provided for their competitions.RT: Could you give an update on FIFA forward programme?WF: Work is progressing well despite the inclement weather conditions. We have succeeded in our application to expand phase 1. The lighting has been upgraded to the CONCACAF tier 2 lighting standard; this will allow us to host major international games in Guyana.We will also be renovating the existing building that is on the property to facilitate team encampment until the dorms are completed.We will now be able to bring together our teams much more often and have longer periods of preparation, which is essential in our quest to become #1 within the Region.This is a personal goal of mine that will be accomplished much sooner than most fans may wish to believe. Next year we will share with the public what phase 2 of the construction will entail.I take this opportunity to wish our fans, sponsors, players, administrators and stakeholders a merry Christmas and a productive 2018. “We are here to serve football..!”God Bless.
Three minutes later, Valencia drew first blood. The offside flag stayed down as Jose Luis Gaya received a long ball from Francis Coquelin from deep before the left-back sent it low to Gameiro, who made no mistake with an unstoppable finish past Cillessen.Rodrigo doubled Los Ches’ lead in the 33rd minute.Dani Parejo left his marker for dead in midfield and played a brilliant through ball to the pacy Carlos Soler, who beat Alba for speed before crossing for the grateful Rodrigo to head home from a couple of yards out.Valencia shot-stopper Jaume Domenech then had to be at his best to keep out Messi on the stroke of half-time as the La Liga champions went in to the break trailing 2-0.Barca coach Valverde reacted to the two-goal deficit by conducting a double substitution just before the second half, bringing on Malcom for Nelson Semedo and Arturo Vidal for Arthur.Immediately after the interval, Rodrigo created a chance for himself, but his low shot was too weak and comfortably collected by Cillessen as a result.Goncalo Guedes then came close in the 49th minute.The winger played a quick one-two with Rodrigo before unleashing a powerful shot that went just wide of Cillessen’s right-hand post.Messi hit the post in the 57th minute. Malcom held the ball up for his legendary teammate to break into the Valencia box and hit a looped effort over Domenech only to hit the woodwork and for the ball to bounce clear only as far out as Vidal who scuffed his effort high and wide of goal.Gerard Pique almost got himself on the scoresheet in the 71st minute. Malcom left Gaya for dead before bursting clear and playing a pinpoint pass towards the centre-back only for his first-time effort to go just wide of Domenech’s left post.Two minutes later, Barca did pull a goal back courtesy of their talisman Messi. The Argentine playmaker tapped a loose ball into the back of an empty net following Domenech’s save from Lenglet’s header for his 10th goal in five Copa del Rey finals.But in the end, Valencia held on to their slender one-goal advantage and prevented Barca from claiming a fifth Copa del Rey crown in a row.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Lionel Messi scored but was powerless to prevent FC Barcelona from losing 2-1 to Valencia in the Copa del Rey final at Estadio Benito Vilamarin yesterday evening.Valencia started on the front foot and Rodrigo missed an absolute sitter in the fifth minute. Clement Lenglet was caught napping by Kevin Gameiro before the latter played in his strike partner, who left Jasper Cillessen for dead and only had the goal at his mercy but for a goal-line block by Gerard Pique.Lionel Messi nearly scored in the 18th minute. The forward made his first real contribution of the final, bursting into Los Ches’ penalty area and hitting a low drive that ended up going out for a corner following a desperate block from Gabriel Paulista.
According to phrases.org.uk, the phrase Admiral Horatio Nelson is supposed to have said was, “turn a blind eye,” when he willfully disobeyed a signal to withdraw during a naval engagement.The British fleet of the day was commanded by Admiral Sir Hyde Parker. The two men disagreed over tactics and at one point Parker sent a signal (by the use of flags) for Nelson to disengage. Nelson was convinced he could win if he persisted and that’s when he coined the phrase ‘turned a blind eye’.“You know, Foley,” he supposedly told one of his subordinates, “I have only one eye—and I have a right to be blind sometimes… I really do not see the signal.”Let’s talk about the NFL Coach of the Year Award. The honor is supposedly awarded to the coach who does the most to give his team a chance to win. Well let’s take a look at how the award has been handed out over the years and question the legitimacy of the reward. From 1955 to 1959 there was only the NFL so the first five awards were to NFL (now the NFC) coaches. When the AFL (now mostly the AFC) was formed there were two Coach of the Year awards, one for the NFL and the AFL. That practice continued until 1997 when it was determined that only one award be given to the best coach of the combined NFC and AFC. Ray Rhodes was the first Black coach to win the award as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1995, approximately 40 years after the award was created. It would take until 2005 for another Black coach to win the award. That would be Lovie Smith, the head coach of the Chicago Bears. Marvin Lewis, the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, would snag the award in 2009.Ron Rivera, the head coach of the Carolina Panthers, would win the award in 2013 and 2015. Mike Tomlin, the head coach of the Steelers, has been mentioned by many of the national sports pundits have openly advocated for Tomlin to receive the honor. However, many of the “talking heads in the Steelers market have quietly and openly fought against the suggestion of Tomlin receiving any accolades regarding the 2019 season. The Pittsburgh media has tried and continue to derail the “Tomlin award” and they seem to hate even hearing his name when it comes to receiving any accolades at all.Steel town pollution monger John Steigerwald had this to say about the coaching effort of Mike Tomlin. “Sorry, Mike Tomlin, but John Harbaugh is NFL Coach of the Year. You deserved serious consideration when your Pittsburgh Steelers somehow were in position to get into the playoffs after losing Ben Roethlisberger for the season and having to deal with so many injuries to other key players along the way. Imagine how much it would have hurt if the Steelers managed to beat the Ravens’ JV team in Baltimore. If it makes you feel any better, even if you had gotten the Steelers to the playoffs, you would have been no better than the second-best coach of the year.”Talk about turning a blind eye; many of these media types continue gushing with praise and it seems as if they still idolize carrying and washing the cheating stained jockstrap of Bill Belichick, who they still voted for Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2010 after being exposed as a continual and pathological cheater. The award has only been awarded six times to minority coaches since 1955. The folks that vote for the award are not only blind, they are deaf, dumb and racially insensitive.by Aubrey Bruce, For New Pittsburgh Courier