Thirteen male and nine female teams are in contention for championship honours as the North Pakaraima Football Tournament 2018 kicked off on Sunday in Kato Village, Region Eight.This year’s tournament is historic since it is the first time that an official from Football Governing body FIFA is in attendance.Director, Vernon Masengio Omba made good on his promise to the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs to visit Guyana during the competition to see firsthand the commitment made by the respective teams participating.During remarks at the opening ceremony Omba commended efforts being made by the Ministry, more so, the commitment by Minister within the Ministry, Valerie Garrido-Lowe, towards the development of football in the hinterland.“We are certainly moved by her love and passion for football and the personal sacrifice you have made in travelling great distances so you can play the game. You reached after walking about two to three days to get here that alone is to show how passionate you are for the game of football and I believe from now we will be behind you, behind the GFF and behind the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs,” he is quoted by the Department of Public Information as saying.Omba is in Guyana witness the level of play at the grassroots level, challenges experienced and document same in an effort to help local teams receive further support from FIFA. He said he is returning to Zurich with a better understanding of the need to support Hinterland football.Minister within the ministry Valerie Garrido-Lowe, who is also the patron for Women’s Football in Guyana, expressed pleasure with the level of participation and commitment teams continue to show towards making the tournament a success.The minister emphasised the Ministry’s commitment towards the region’s football endeavours and amidst a loud applause, handed over the cheque to organisers.Minister Garrido-Lowe also acknowledged the contributions it continues to receive from the Guyana Football Federation led by Wayne Forde. The minister remarked that since GFF President, Wayne Forde, came into office the ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs and GFF have formed a partnership with the aim of developing hinterland talent so that the national team can be truly reflective of what a national team should look like.Meanwhile, Forde who accompanied the FIFA Director said: “the GFF has a mandate to develop football and the time is right, the time is now to make a meaningful contribution into the work that you have been doing over all these years”.Chronicling his experience in the Pakaraimas, Forde said he has a greater appreciation for players following an adventurous journey from Paramakatoi to Kato after the vehicle in which his team was travelling broke down halfway into the journey leaving them to travel for four hours by foot through mountainous terrain.Forde said the GFF remains committed to working in partnership with the Ministry to develop this beautiful game.This is the second official hosting for the tournament which began some twelve years ago.The teams participating are defending champions Itabac Male and Kanapang Female, Paramakatoi, Micobie/Campbelltown, Bamboo Creek, Chenapou, Kamana, Kanapang Male, Kopinang, Kurukubaru, Maikwak, Monkey Mountain, Tuseneng and host Kato.The tournament concludes next Sunday with the third-place playoff followed by the finals in both male and female competitions.
Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. New Delhi: Kidambi Srikanth on Monday pulled out of the upcoming Premier Badminton League (PBL) to focus on international events ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.The 26-year-old from Guntur, who had guided Bangalore Raptors to their maiden title win in the last PBL, will not feature in the fifth edition scheduled to be held from January 20 to February 9. “It’s a tough road ahead. Need to go full throttle and fulfill the expectations that lie on me. Hence, I won’t be playing PBL this year to focus more on international events. Wish @blr_raptors all the very best and hope for a smashing season this year as well,” Srikanth wrote on his twitter handle. It’s a tough road ahead. Need to go full throttle and fulfill the expectations that lie on me. Hence, I won’t be playing PBL this year to focus more on International events. Wish @blr_raptors all the very best and hope for a smashing season this year as well.— Kidambi Srikanth (@srikidambi) November 25, 2019 2020 Olympics2020 tokyo olympicsbadmintonIndia First Published: November 25, 2019, 6:12 PM IST Srikanth is currently enduring a winless streak since claiming four titles in 2017. He had reached the finals of India Open earlier this year.He has been battling form and fitness issues and has slipped to world no 11. He made it to the semifinals of Hong Kong Open earlier this month.London Games bronze medallist Saina Nehwal, who is also going through a bad patch, had withdrawn from the PBL on Sunday to prepare herself for the next international season.Being the pre-Olympic year, shuttlers across the globe are trying to stock up ranking points to make the cut for the Tokyo Olympics to be held from July 24 to August 9, 2020.The Olympic qualification period is between April 29, 2019 and April 26, 2020 with the ranking list published on April 30 to be used to decide the spots.