BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Feb. 25, 2016–On Wednesday, February 17, the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) sent out a press release announcing the results of elections, which were actually endorsements, held in three different district associations – Belize District, Stann Creek District and Toledo District.
We have refrained so far from publishing the names of those elected/endorsed, because there have been so many complaints, both verbal and written, across the country about the unfairness of the process, and in light of the fact that no less than the FFB President himself had been “suspended” by a majority of his own executive members because of their strong objection to the violations being perpetrated on the FFB Statutes and Electoral Code. We hope to cast no aspersions on the individuals elected/endorsed so far, but at this sports desk we await the verdict of FIFA and CONCACAF to see if this process that has occurred will be allowed to stand, or those elections/endorsements will be declared null and void, and the process has to be done all over again, as was the case back in 2011 and 2012 with the previous Dr. Chimilio led FFB administration.
Cries of foul play in the election process have come up from Toledo, from sports activist Leopoldo Benguche and from Toledo Bullu Academy’s sponsor Karl Tillett and President Franklin Martinez, all who have seen their complete slates rejected at the nomination stage. Dangriga Boys & Girls Academy President, Stephen Lourie made an impassioned call to the Krem Sports Show on Sunday last, condemning the unfairness of the district association election process in Dangriga. Antonio Zetina of Corozal wrote a number of letters, first to the FFB President and General Secretary, and then to the Electoral Committee and the media at large, begging for a level playing field in the election process in Corozal, where he ran into road blocks in attempting to get his slate nominated. In Belize District, would be contestants were tricked by the withholding of information on accredited teams until after the nomination deadline had passed. In Belmopan, where every year there have been many teams active in youth and senior tournaments, only 5 teams were listed as eligible to vote in their election. And in Orange Walk, there was much agitation and confusion, until a desperate and aggressive delegation made a journey to FFB headquarters in Belmopan, and finally saw their nominations accepted.
If FIFA finds that the FFB President’s suspension stands, and/or district association elections have to be conducted again, we think it would be best to wait until a really “fair and transparent” process has been completed, before we announce the names of all contesting slates and individuals for the elections. For now, we will only reveal a situation we have observed in Toledo, where one member on the endorsed slate, William Maheia (yes, bro. Wil Maheia of Belize Territorial Volunteers), has categorically denied giving any approval to include his name on a slate for nomination in the Toledo District Football Association elections.
If you doubt there is something “fishy” going on in these district association elections, check the following email discourse forwarded to us by Leopoldo Benguche, who was a member of one of two slates of candidates whose nominations were all rejected in Toledo:
From: leopoldo benguche [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Saturday, 13 February 2016 05:30 PM
To: Wil Maheia; AG.Genus; [email protected]
Sir, I was flabbergasted when I heard your name being called as a member of the corrupt executive which was endorsed.
My! Oh my! Smart people are really hard to find in our district.
That is why our district is always looked upon as the forgotten District.
Thanks for now!
On Saturday, February 13, 2016 7:01 PM, Wil Maheia <[email protected]> wrote:
I am not a part of that. I told Mr. Blease and informed Mr. Galvez that I could not be a part of any team. Who put my name there, I don’t know. Mr. Blease informed me that my name was on the list. I told him, no sir; I can’t be a part of that.
(Ed. Note: While many aspiring candidates are having their nominations rejected, bro. Wil’s name is included against his will on the endorsement slate. Mr. Galvez is the Vice-Chairman on the endorsed slate in Toledo. Mr. Blease is General Secretary of the FFB, who is charged with being the recording secretary to the Electoral Committee of the FFB.)