THOUGH still a secret too many in Guyana’s very small football circle, the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) has a new general secretary.
Trinidadian Richard Groden will now serve in the same position he once held in the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) for 15 years before he resigned in 2013, according to the GFF Normalisation Committee and will have Diedre Davis as his assistant.
In a letter to the affiliates of the GFF yesterday, GFF Normalisation Committee Chairman Clinton Urling said that Groden will officially take the post on March 2, while Davis will begin to serve the Federation on February 24.
The GFF was without a general secretary following the sacking of Mabiola Howard in December who had taken over from Noel Adonis.
According to Urling, Groden will serve in the capacity of general secretary during the life of the Normalisation Committee which, according to FIFA, is until the end of September and during that time, Davis will be his assistant. After his (Groden) departure, Davis will take the position on a permanent basis.
“CONCACAF recommended Groden and he will serve as general secretary of the Federation during the tenure of the Normalisation Committee and will demit office on the completion of the Committee’s mandate. Ms Davis will serve as assistant general secretary of the Federation and will work directly with Mr Groden in the coming months and will assume the functions of general secretary on Mr Groden’s departure,” Urling told his Associations.
But while the Normalisation Committee term is set to last until September, FIFA’s Head of Member Association, Primo Corvaro, told the media during his recent visit that the (Normalisation Committee) lifespan can be extended, depending heavily on the outcome of the present GFF constitutional reform process.
It is said that Groden has “extensive experience in the inner workings of the international football network, having served on many FIFA and CONCACAF committees throughout his career. He also served as CEO of the Organising Committees of five Trinidad national teams’ appearances in various World Cup categories, including the Soca Warriors in the 2006 World Cup in Germany and the Girls Under-17 finals in 2010 in Trinidad”.
Davis, according to the Normalisation Committee, holds an MBA from the Australian Institute of Business and a Bachelor of Sciences Degree in International Relations from the University of Guyana.
She has nine years professional experience working with the Roraima Group of Companies; her most recent title being that of Human Resources Manager.
“We have no doubt that with their exceptional qualifications and experiences they will contribute to the success of the Federation and to the growth and development of football in Guyana,” Urling said in a letter dispatched to the GFF’s affiliates.
But now, one might question if it is a “good idea” to have Groden serve, even on a temporary basis, given the reason which led to his resignation from the same post in Trinidad and Tobago.
Groden was one of four officials who escaped punishment from FIFA over the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) bribery scandal that saw the then-GFF president Colin Klass being banned from the sport.
The Trinidadian received just a warning from FIFA’s ethics committee for his involvement in the Qatari Mohamed bin Hammam cash-for-votes scandal.
(By Rawle Toney)