Features — 21 June 2017 — by Charles X
Football shenanigans; the ghost of Bertie returns with Ruperto

BELIZE CITY, Mon. June 12, 2017–There is something rotten in Belizean football behind the scenes, and it is so convoluted and distasteful, that we have been reluctant to delve in and divert the attention of football loving fans from the exciting games that the players are engaged in on the field. Unfortunately, while they diligently sweat and give their all for the glory of the game and the joy they attain from giving a pleasing performance to the fans, others are diligently conspiring to see how they can best manipulate the situation to satisfy their own personal ends.

Personal ambition is not a bad thing. Everyone wants to improve and enhance their financial condition. But when such endeavor becomes a drag and a drain on the limited resources which should be utilized to build up the game, so that it can better benefit all who contribute to its improvement, only to satisfy the personal needs of a few, then that is not good for the game.

The skullduggery that is reportedly going on with the recent voting at FFB executive elections is distasteful and disappointing. Shame on any “delegate” whose only consideration for casting their all-important electoral vote is for what “pieces of silver” they have been personally promised by any candidate in the elections. And shame on any such candidate.

It is, and has long been, a well-known fact that former Senior Vice President of the FFB, Sergio Chuc has contributed in cash and kind at one time or another to football in Belize. He is a past sponsor of the champion Hankook Verdes football team of around 2007, and has sponsored a number of smaller teams and football events, as well as contributed to clubs in the PLB in the form of uniforms in a deal that advertises the name of his bus line. That is a normal business arrangement in sports, where clubs receive needed equipment in return for product advertising. If Mr. Chuc wants to now offer himself for a post in the administration of football, it is for the “members” to decide if he will bring any positive and meaningful improvement to the way the sport has been managed. There are millions of FIFA contributed funds to be administered by the FFB executive, and there is no rule that says Mr. Chuc will plan and administrate such FIFA funds better than another person with good ideas and vision, simply because he has had cash on hand available to contribute to the sport. Those are two separate things. And Mr. Chuc should not be punished because of his contributions; but neither should any “member” degrade himself by looking for any personal reward from Mr. Chuc in return for his vote in the elections. If such is proved in the elections, both the “member” and the party offering such “bribe” should automatically be banned from football administration.

From Bertie to Ruperto

The sad irony of the whole situation, is that evidence has surfaced that puts Chuc’s accuser, Ruperto Vicente, right alongside the infamous Dr. Bertie, when it comes to shady contracts to enhance his quest for power in the FFB. In the 2016 election, individuals that voted for Vicente had already received lucrative contracts in 2015 that were signed by Vicente, and bound the FFB to full compensation up to 2020 should those persons be terminated before then. Those contracts remain in force, and Vicente is now campaigning hard (who knows what promises he has made?) to launch himself back into the seat of FFB power.

“Black and white don’t lie”

The people’s business is the people’s business, and FFB contracts should not be secretive matters. Indeed, there are jobs available that should be advertised like any other. But when contracts are secretly given, and are unreasonably generous, with payoff clauses that totally favor the employee, then we have to wonder what the employer’s representative, in this case the President of the FFB, was thinking.

At Amandala sports desk, we have seen the contracts. Without name calling and all the lavish details, here are the two most questionable clauses, recalling that Vicente’s term as FFB President had ended in 2016, and he signed these contracts in 2015.

All five contracts are for a “period of continuous employment until March 31, 2020.”

And the section on “Termination of employment” is worth reviewing. It says, “The employment of the Employee may be terminated: 9.1 By the Employee on giving the Employer three (3) months written notice of resignation from employment; 9.2 By the Employer on giving to the Employee written notice and paying out the remaining cash balance on the contract.”

Who would vote against someone that gives you that type of employment contract?

“God no like ugly”

Last year, many football family members breathed a sigh of relief when FIFA appointed FFB Senior Vice President Marlon Kuylen to serve as Acting President for a year, after 22 rounds of deadlocked voting between Sergio Chuc and Ruperto Vicente. Vicente has successfully removed Chuc from contention in this coming Saturday’s Congress; but Marlon Kuylen is now contending for the post of President. Can lightning strike twice?

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