Sports — 14 April 2015 — by Kareem Clarke
FFB wants embattled Rawell Pelayo to resign

BELMOPAN, Mon. Apr. 13, 2015–A senior Football Federation of Belize (FFB) executive, who in June of last year pleaded guilty to conspiring to contravene US narcotics laws, will be given an opportunity to resign, rather than to be booted from his post.

That was the decision that was made at the FFB’s 8th Congress which was held this past Saturday, April 11, at its headquarters in Belmopan.

After the session, FFB President, Ruperto Vicente, told the media that although Pelayo’s expulsion was on the agenda for the day, it was later struck off to give him an opportunity to meet with the Federation and make a more orderly exit instead.

He said, “Mr. Pelayo is a member of the football family, and we want to treat every member of our football family with respect.”

As a result, Pelayo has been given an opportunity to tender his resignation and, according to Vicente, he (Pelayo) has indicated that he will do so in the near future, although he did not mention when that might be.

Vicente added that the main reason why Pelayo is being asked to resign is because of his recent criminal conviction which made him ineligible to continue his tenure.

“If you have been criminally charged, whether nationally or internationally, then you cannot serve on the executive of the FFB”, Vicente cited.

As soon as Pelayo officially resigns, the FFB will call an Extraordinary Congress either for the election or recommendation of someone else to replace him.

As for the financial documents that were reportedly in Pelayo’s possession at the time of his arrest in relation to the funds received for the Belize Jaguars’ 2013 Gold Cup outing, Vicente asserted that he has not yet received the documents because he has not yet met with Pelayo, but that as soon as the matter is resolved, the financial reports will be submitted to the public.

Pelayo was deported to Belize last Tuesday, April 7, after spending 21 months in a US prison for drug-related offences.

In July 2013, he was detained at the George W. Bush International Airport in Houston, Texas, while travelling with the Belize National Football Team to the CONCACAF Gold Cup which was being held in Portland, Oregon.

He made a plea bargain and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to facilitate the sale of 500 grams of cocaine and was sentenced to 24 months in prison in New York in June of last year.

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