The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) is not ruling out the use of the Court of Arbitration for sport (CAS) to further pursue its case against the world body for football (FIFA) over their handling of the illegitimate St Vincent and the Grenadines player issue, according to Chairman of the Normalisation Committee Clinton Urling.
Urling’s comments came during a live interview on Digicel SportsMax Zone yesterday.
St Vincent and Grenadines had fielded a player who was not the holder of a passport from the Island during the side’s 2018 World Cup Qualifier tournament in June of this year, and days after Guyana was knocked out of the tournament, the GFF had lodged a protest with FIFA over the matter.
However, the GFF was told that after investigation, no further intervention was needed in the context of the matter.
After another appeal by the GFF, FIFA responded by saying that Guyana was not “a party to the relevant proceedings before the FIFA Disciplinary Committee and would therefore not be eligible to appeal”.
Urling told Sportsmaxx Zone that the GFF is currently seeking legal advice on the matter but was quick to point out that they had not ruled out CAS.
FIFA regulations for the 2018 programme say that only passports are “valid proof of a player’s identity and nationality.” Each player’s passport must be shown to FIFA’s match delegate the day before kickoff.
The new rule states: “Identity cards or other supporting official documents shall not be accepted” and history has shown that seven different African teams fielded ineligible players in qualifying group matches for the 2014 World Cup, forcing FIFA to award 3-0 wins to their opponents.
Urling has however added that at this point, even if they do go to CAS, they will not get a judgement in time to return to the tournaments next round in September, but stated that Guyana’s persistence is about justice and ensuring that FIFA abides by its rules in an “equitable manner”