BELIZE CITY, Wed. Feb. 17, 2016–There have been numerous reports in local football circles about members of the football family feeling let down by the current FFB administration, which replaced the unpopular Bertie Chimilio leadership back in March, 2012, declaring that it represented “a breath of fresh air” to football.
Not all promises of the new FFB leadership have been kept; understandably, since it was left with an empty bank account by the outgoing executive. In fact, there have been many complaints, starting with the lack of accountability with the moneys raised from an enthusiastic public towards Belize’s participation in the CONCACAF Gold Cup back in 2013.
Nobody is perfect, but what has really created open wounds for sincere football people is the current state of affairs regarding the election process for district association executives, the first step towards the FFB executive elections sometime in late March or early April of this year.
One such terribly “disheartened” and “disappointed” football family member is former semipro player, Karl “Bullu” Tillett, who played during the 1990’s and early 2000’s with teams like Santels, Sagitun and San Pedro FC, before migrating to Houston, Texas, where he earned a degree in education and is presently a teacher at Raven High School.
I received a note this morning from a fellow Amandala reporter who had just returned from Punta Gorda, Toledo, and it included the U.S. phone number and email for Karl Tillett, whose brain-child, the Toledo Bullu Youth Academy in P.G., has been in existence for the past ten years, conducting regular marathons and daily training for young footballers.
I tried unsuccessfully to call Mr. Tillett; but he returned my call shortly afterwards (from Houston), explaining that he had been occupied in conducting a classroom session. We spoke for almost half hour, during which it was abundantly evident that this gentleman was all about, in his own words, “giving back to my community.” To demonstrate his unselfish approach, Karl said he recently distributed 500 footballs to teams in Punta Gorda and across the Toledo District. And every summer, he brings football equipment and uniforms for his academy and other teams in the district.
Incidentally, Karl is a younger brother of Cecil “Andy” Tillett, a.k.a. FIFA, perennial Chairman of the Toledo Football Association (TFA). And he is not supporting his brother in maintaining his post. “I keep telling my brother to not continue letting himself be used as a front for others. He did a lot for football in the past, but for a while now he is no longer active, so it is best he step aside.”
There has been little activity from the TFA in Toledo, and many complaints over the years; but Karl has not let these dampen his efforts to assist the sport in his home district. What has really dampened his spirits recently, and inspired his decision to share his experience to help clean up the mess, is what transpired with the efforts of a slate, which included members of his Academy sub-committee, to contest the recently held TFA executive elections. Two different slates challenged the incumbent, headed by Chairman Cecil “Andy” Tillett and Vice-Chairman Carlos Galvez; but the nominations of both challenging slates were rejected. What galls Karl, is that the slate he supported, headed by Franklin Martinez, the chairman of his Toledo Bullu Youth Academy sub-committee, had “covered all the bases” to meet the requirements to be nominated, but was rejected because, according to the Electoral Committee, the said Bullu Academy was not officially registered with the TFA, and thus could not nominate any slate member.
To qualify to contest the district association election, each individual on a slate must be nominated by a registered member of the said association. The thing is that for over three years, the TFA has not conducted any competitions. According to Karl Tillett, the Toledo Bullu Academy has been active and paying its annual registration fee to the Toledo Football Association. Yet, the TFA did not so inform the Electoral Committee, whose decision was based on the information provided by the TFA.
Karl said he is very disappointed in the FFB under President Ruperto Vicente.