General Secretary of the Georgetown Football Association Odinga Lumumba is in disagreement with the recent appointment of Trinidadian Richard Groden as General Secretary of the Guyana Football Federation and is calling for the decision to be reversed.
The outspoken Lumumba claimed that Groden’s selection is nothing short of an insult to Guyana since they were many qualified locals who were overlooked. He is now appealing for a full discloser of the process that led to the appointment of the Trinidadian.
“I don’t like it. This makes me feel like Guyana is a colony. You cannot tell me that there are no qualified Guyanese to be our General Secretary. This infraction is very insulting to us as a nation,” Lumumba declared.
Groden will assume duties on March 2, while Diedre Davis, who was appointed Assistant Secretary General, will commence work on February 24.
Last year the Trinidad Express daily newspaper published that Groden resigned as the General Secretary of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation in May 2013 following a 15-year stint. The Express stated that his tenure was not without controversy as Groden was reprimanded by the FIFA ethics committee following investigations into the infamous cash-for-votes scandal.
A release from the GFF Normalization Committee stated that CONCACAF’s assistance was sought in identifying a GS and the Trinidadian was recommended by the regional body. However, Lumumba is adamant that qualified Guyanese have been overlooked.
“It’s nothing short of amazing what is allowed to happen here. How is it that we can remain silent on such an issue. Did Mr. Groden apply for this job? It’s a backward step and should be corrected. It should be stated publicly why none of the prominent and qualified Guyanese who applied for the post, was selected. What is the problem with Guyanese. Do we lack brains or do we lack integrity,” Lumumba asked.
Lumumba further opined, “I don’t know another country in the world that has a General Secretary not from the said country, what is wrong with us.”
Groden’s appointment is temporary as he will serve until the life of the Normalization Committee expires in September. Lumumba, also the president of Guyana’s leading football club Alpha United, opined that the right thing would have been to award the GS position to a qualified Guyanese and have Groden overlook their growth.