Sports — 09 October 2015
FFB re-thinks endorsement election plans

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Oct. 8, 2015–Some heavy football politics has been occurring behind the scenes lately, and a lot has come to light this week via leaked emails to our sports desk.  It is FFB policy to keep things within the football family, and we have tried to comply with that approach, for the better image of the sport.  But football fans are also part of the family, and there are some things we need to share.

   In a letter yesterday to members of the football family, former national team player and former national team manager Dean Flowers clearly articulated the problem:

   “…In clear defiance of its own statutes and codes, the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) General Secretary and President have quietly and secretly called for an Electoral Congress across all seven football districts without serving adequate notice and advice to the football family in Belize.  As was done under former FFB President Bertie Chimilio, Ruperto and Blease actions seek to have endorsements rather than open democratic elections at the District Associations level so as to ensure Ruperto’s re-election in March of next year.  If it wasn’t for an alert member of a team of the Belmopan Football Association, the alarm of the country wide elections would have not been sounded.  When queried about the elections, FFB remaining Executives (Marlon Kuylen, Cruz Gamez and Sergio Chuc) revealed that they had no knowledge of any such process and could not comment on the matter….”

   A letter dated October 7 from Luis Pena (former Chairman Bmp Football Association, former Public Relations Officer FFB, former Secretary General Premier League of Belize) further elaborated on the problem:

   “… There is no other option but to start adding pressure to the FFB since they are adamant that they will not abide by the District Association statutes, FFB statutes and the FFB Electoral Code 2011.  By not following the statutes and electoral code the FFB President and GS are endorsing their chairmen for another four years, thereby barring all those persons who are ready to contest the incumbents in the district… It’s a real embarrassment that after having been thru this already with FIFA aiding in the 2011 elections, we are back to ground zero, as the President and GS are photocopying the exact tactics used by Dr. Chimilio…”

   The FFB General Secretary was apparently unfazed, for this was his response:

   “I don’t know in what capacity or authority you write; please review the content and purpose of the FFB Electoral Code 2011, the District Associations Statutes and the FFB Statutes.  The Football Federation of Belize, the National Sport Council, the Belize Olympic Committee and a Justice of the Peace will preside over the elections proceedings in the districts.”

   However, the temperature rose to another level this morning, when three FFB Executive members reportedly wrote a strong letter addressed to all district association chairmen, warning them that “… If we continue on this path, the FFB and all its members, including each and every one of you, can be chastised and blamed for being corrupt.  It can even lead to sanctions by FIFA…”

   A break in the situation reportedly took place today after a one on one meeting between FFB President Ruperto Vicente and Vice-President Sergio Chuc.

   Our source reported that Vicente “.. agreed.. to comply with the FFB Statutes and the FFB’s Electoral Code; all district elections will be postponed until an Extra-Ordinary Congress is convened.  At this Congress an Electoral Committee, Elections Appeal Committee and the Ethics Committee for the FFB will be elected by the Congress members.  Thereafter, elections shall be conducted by all affiliates in a fair and transparent manner.”

   We await the next move from the FFB.

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