The Guyana Football Federation (GFF), through General Secretary Richard Groden, today dispatched an official letter of appeal to FIFA’s Appeals Committee, following the world governing body’s decision to reward St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) the protest filed by Guyana.
The letter was addressed to Mr. Larry Mussenden, Chairman of FIFA’s Appeals Committee.
The GFF on June 16 had requested FIFA’s investigation and adjudication on a possible violation of the FIFA rules by the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF) for fielding a player not in possession of a St. Vincent & the Grenadines Passport during the World Cup Qualification match on June 14, 2015 at the Guyana National Stadium.
FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee ruled that, “after careful examination of all the requested information and documentation, it was considered that no further intervention was necessary in such context”.
However, the GFF is of the view that the Disciplinary Committee gave no explanation for its ruling and no reference was made to the ineligibility of the player for presenting a Passport other than that of the country of the participating member association (SVG) he was representing.
The GFF challenge was premised on the fact that the player in question, Garvin James, did not have a SVG Passport as required by FIFA Regulations for the FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia.
Referring to Article 7 of the ‘General Provisions’ which states that “The Regulations and all directives, decisions, guidelines and circulars issued by FIFA shall be binding for all parties participating and involved in the preparation, organisation, and hosting of the 2018 FIFA World Cup”.
Under Article 19, paragraph 3 of the Regulations, it states “The ONLY document considered to be valid proof of a player’s identity and nationality shall be a passport that explicitly states the player’s day, month and year of birth. Identity cards or other supporting official documents shall not be accepted as a valid means of identification. The participating member associations shall present each player’s valid national passport for the country of the participating member association to the FIFA Match Commissioner on the day before the match. A player without a valid passport shall not be entitled to play”
The GFF also reminded FIFA, for the WCQ, Guyana did not play four players who did not have a Passport in their possession but who had met all requirements for citizenship.
“If a stamp in their passports of the countries of birth or some other form of documentation from the Guyana government, other than a passport, would have sufficed, the GFF would have fielded those players and the outcome of the matches might have been different” Groden said in the letter.