BELIZE CITY, Mon. Nov. 7, 2016–The historic MCC Grounds, scene of many memorable and epic football battles, is pretty much a disaster area nowadays, except for the developed north-eastern portion of the grounds, taken over for a car park to serve the customers of Princess Hotel & Casino across the street. None of the pavilions – the Guinness, Brodies or San Cas pavilions, and none of the bleachers along the western sideline, all destroyed by Hurricane Greta back in 1978, have been replaced. Except for not holding water because of its elevation, the field is in a terrible state, the surface making it difficult for our more highly skilled players to exhibit their true brilliance because of the many uneven areas and bumpy surface that often makes the ball jump instead of roll for an easy kill or right-away shot or pass. Sometimes, it can be embarrassing for a player when his shot goes wild, and he is not completely to blame.
For months now, the only place of refuge in inclement weather, especially for the daring ladies that are still loyal fans of the game, has been the Belikin tent that houses the bar, but also provides some shelter from the sun and the rain, when it decides to come down.
It was a rainy weekend. All was well at the BDF vs Verdes game on Saturday night. The Belikin tent was there, and in full use. But, with the next big game approaching on Sunday afternoon, featuring playoff contenders FC Belize and Placencia Assassins, and skies overcast and threatening to rain in the evening, someone had the bright idea, around 11:00 a.m., to remove the Belikin tent from the MCC. And the Sports Council caretakers raised no alarm. They just let them go, even while the FC Belize management was making arrangements to have their bar stocked with Belikin products for the game later in the evening.
Well, there was a little mini home style tent that the FC Belize management hurriedly set up to house their make-shift bar and provide a little shelter for the ladies serving.
And then the rains came, while the game played. Nowhere for fans to run for shelter. The big berry trees are gone; no pavilions; and no Belikin tent. Some patrons jumped in their cars and left the stadium. There were a few umbrellas. Some toughed it out and took a licking.
Why are they doing this to us? All we have left is football. Was it just bad timing on the part of Belikin to remove their tent; or was there an ulterior motive by someone with bad intentions for our football? Someone owes football fans an apology.