Black Immigrant Daily News
President Dr Irfaan Ali on Tuesday evening expressed hope of Guyana being able to participate in the Football World Cup 2026.
He was at the time speaking during the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association’s (GMSA) 27th Annual Awards Ceremony.
“A few days ago I sat down with the Football Federation and I said to them I’m going to invest my time and energy in football but you guys have to at least share my vision and at least give me something that I can say to the Guyanese people that we are going to work with every ounce of energy we have to make it to World Cup 2026,” he stated.
President Ali had previously announced, for sport in general and football in particular, a number of developmental initiatives that would transform the landscape of sports in the country, especially in Indigenous communities.
High on the agenda was the ‘One Guyana’ Football Cup which kicked off on November 13.
Moreover, the President had expressed his intention to curate a development programme for 50 footballers, saying “we will develop a pool of at least 50 players, and that 50 players will go in a special development programme that the Government will work with our local football association, so that we could develop them, so that we can make them competitive, so that we can get the right environment in which they can develop this great skill in football.”
President Ali also mused on implementing, for national players, a stipend programme that would afford them the opportunity to be part of the development process for the next generation of players.
“Let us identify national players that we have in all these areas across the country. Let us bring the national players to one pool, and let us then put them on a stipend programme which the Government will support. And we will assign them to schools, we will assign them to regions, so they will work to develop more talent,” President Ali had stated.
Moreover, it has been disclosed that the venue for the Upper Mazaruni Games would be the first of several grounds to be upgraded to FIFA standards by the Government. The President explained, “You will see in next year’s budget that we are going to upgrade the Kamarang Centre into a FIFA-standard facility, with the lights and everything, as a central place in which football will develop.
“And not only for football, to develop the entire area with the facilities that will support other sport disciplines,” the President added, as he expressed intentions to have one such facility in every administrative region in Guyana.