Following is a statement issued by Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, in response to an article printed in the Nation Newspaper on Thursday, September 22.
“In relation to the matter appearing in the Nation Newspaper involving Mr. Roland Waithe, the facts of the matter in relation to the article are:
A total of six teams requested financial assistance to participate in the Annual Children’s Charity Shield in Guyana. They were: Gall Hill Junior Football Club, Empire Club, Deacons Under 17 FC, St. Peter’s Under 17 FC, Evans Maughan Youth Academy and Paradise FC.
Based on the significant requests, approval was provided for $1,600 per team to allow for participation, with the proviso that the funds would be disbursed ONLY if the team could raise the balance of funding.
The Ministry was informed that two teams (Deacons U17 Football Club and Evans Maughan Youth Academy) were no longer making the trip. This information was confirmed by the LIAT representative, who indicated that no reservations were made for these two clubs.
The approved funds of $1,600 per team were therefore paid to LIAT to assist the participating clubs who had raised the balance of funds as was required by the Ministry as a pre-condition for assistance.
It is to be noted that the Ministry has provided assistance to various teams since the inception of this tournament, and, in fact, assistance was provided to the Evans Maughan Youth Academy last year.
The Ministry has however always stressed the need for teams to be self-supportive given the high cost of travel and accommodation. Additionally, it has provided other in-kind support, such as secretarial assistance, to assist the teams.
The assertions in the article are therefore without substance and give no credit to the Ministry for its role in providing part sponsorship to teams throughout the life of this tournament.
The Ministry takes a rather dim view of the unsubstantiated claims attributed to Mr. Waithe, since they seek to portray the Ministry in a poor light, particularly when such claims are without any substance.”
Ministry of Culture, Sports & Youth