By Rawle Toney
NATIONAL players Trayon Bobb, Kelsey Benjamin, Nicholas McArthur, Kevin Dundas and Sese Norville were yesterday provisionally suspended by Guyana Football Federation (GFF), pending an investigation by the Federation’s Disciplinary Committee, following their involvement in the ongoing football tournament in Buxton, which has not been sanctioned by the local body with the responsibility to govern the ‘beautiful game’.
The five players are currently in training with the rest of the shortlisted locally based players for Guyana’s upcoming engagement against Trinidad and Tobago, in the Qatar World Cup Qualifying tournament.
Match officials Dwayne Johnson, a former FIFA referee Deon Feasall and Roydon Ramsay, along with coaches Dwayne Jacobs, Philbert Moffatt, Sharon Abrams and Sherwin Neblett were also suspended for their role in the tournament at the Buxton Community Centre ground.
According to GFF, the aforementioned individuals “will be unable to participate in any international or club football until the resolution of Disciplinary Committee proceedings and could face further disciplinary action. They will be notified of the venue, date and time of their separate hearings in due course.”
The GFF said “further investigations into the participation of other individuals are ongoing and may result in similar disciplinary action in due course.”
“To defend the integrity of the game and protect the safety and wellbeing of its membership, the GFF Constitution – approved by FIFA – contains specific clauses related to unauthorised football activity,” the GFF said in a statement.
McArthur was only recently given a full scholarship to attend Chicago State University ahead of their National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division One season, while Benjamin and Ryan Hackett will head off to Canada in April for a tryout with Canadian Premier League (CPL) club, Valour FC.
GFF Communications Officer, Keeran Williams, said it is usual protocol for GFF to give their blessings or support for anyone who has been sanctioned by the Disciplinary Committee and is serving a suspension for any infraction of their rules.
While McArthur’s move to the US is for school and shouldn’t be affected, in the case of Benjamin, the GFF Communications Officer said it is their hope that all matters will be addressed by the Disciplinary Committee before his departure to Canada in April.On February 3, the Wayne Forde-led Federation had publicly urged all affiliated players, match officials and coaches to abide by their constitutional regulations at all times in the interests of the entire football community.
At the time of signalling the warning, Forde stated that “any breach of GFF regulations, including participation in unsanctioned events, will be investigated and could result in suspension. Any suspected breach of national COVID-19 rules will be reported to the authorities.”
GFF said regulations, under its constitution, are in place to protect the interests and welfare of players, match officials and coaches, and to safeguard the future development, good governance and orderly organisation of football.
Under FIFA’s global structure of football governance and its constitution, GFF controls football in all its forms in Guyana.