Bridgetown (Barbados): Guyana football head coach Jamaal Shabazz has hailed the work of FIFA’s Normalisation Committee, and believes the national team set-up has been impacted positively as a result.
The committee was formed last October by FIFA and continental governing body, CONCACAF, and was charged with running the affairs of football in Guyana, following bitter infighting among the Guyana Football Federation, which left the game in turmoil, reports CMC.
Shabazz said Sunday’s friendly international against Barbados at the National Stadium here had been due to the excellent work of the committee so far.
“This is a big moment for Guyana’s football because this is the first friendly international we will be playing in two years,” Shabazz said.
“We’re hopeful. Where we lack is in fitness because there was no football going on in Guyana but we will make up in enthusiasm and commitment.
"We had an eight-day camp and that is the only time we had with the team but the enthusiasm is so high with what the Normalisation Committee has brought to Guyana’s football so far, in terms of how they deal with the players, how they deal with the staff and the pathway they are setting forward."
He added: “I think we can only look at the positives and be very anxious to play this game and put our best foot forward.”
Guyana impressed two years ago in the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign when they played with fervour to reach the final 12 in CONCACAF.
However, up against the Central American and Caribbean nations, they ran out of steam and finished bottom of their group, missing out on the final round.
They were disappointing in Caribbean Cup qualifying last year, failing to get out of the first round.
Shabazz said Sunday’s international would provide a great gauge for the side and allow him to properly assess where they were at.
“We’re not too worried because friendly internationals will tell the truth about where we are right now and we want to go to the highest we can go,” he explained.
“But before we can go anywhere, we want to know where we are and the result from the scoreline will tell us exactly where Guyana is at the moment and this is the truth we want at this stage.”