History was created today (Friday) when the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Guyana for the 30-year lease of 7.3 acres of land to construct a football facility at Durban Park, Georgetown.
According to a release from the GFF, this facility, which will be known as the “GFF Durban Park Football Complex,” is expected to accommodate an international quality full size pitch, two minipitches and a new headquarters for the Guyana Football Federation.
The signing was done at the Press Room of the Office of the President by President Wayne Forde, on behalf of the Guyana Football Federation, and Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, on behalf of the Government of Guyana.
President Forde in brief remarks following the signing, thanked the Government of Guyana and other football stakeholders and noted the significance of the moment: “Today marks a huge milestone for football in Guyana and a defining moment for the future of every young boy and girl who dreams of playing the game at the highest level. The importance of high quality football pitches is inextricably linked to the quality of players we develop and the quality of our National teams. Without the right infrastructure, we cannot develop football. It’s as simple as that. We cannot improve standards, we cannot compete at the highest level of the sport.”
In stating that this is the “second major, groundbreaking and game-changing infrastructural project for football” in Guyana following the construction of the GFF’s National Training Centre at Providence, Forde said this will facility will further the Executive Committee’s ongoing efforts to completely transform football in Guyana.
“This project will help the GFF to increase participation in football, spot talent in its infancy stage, increase the player population, raise the quality of our football programmes, improve the image of the sport, enhance community cohesion and improve the health and well-being of our communities. It is one more giant step in the ongoing efforts of my Executive Committee to use our time in office to lay a solid and lasting foundation for the sustainable development of football. This is a giant leap in our quest to qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup,” Forde said.
Harmon said this project is significant, as “the people of Guyana will have access to high-quality public infrastructure, which would allow for them to develop their talent as sportsmen and women.”
The Minister emphasized that initiatives such as these are “important steps in our development” and public access to the facility is an important part of the agreement for both physical health and development of skills.
This signing will pave the way for the commencement of construction, which is scheduled to be completed by 2021. The minipitches are expected to be available to the community on a 24-hour basis.
Following the signing, sod-turning was done at the proposed site on Durban Park by President Forde and Director of Sport, Christopher Jones against an unveiling of a billboard on the site.
President Wayne Forde also presented an official FIFA match ball to Minister Harmon.