BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Sept. 7, 2017–The media is not welcome inside the room at Football Federation of Belize (FFB) Congress meetings; and after over five hours of their closed door session this past Saturday morning, September 2, at the Princess Ramada hotel, Acting-President Marlon Kuylen answered questions from the press on the obstacles crossed at the Congress and those still in the way of the Federation.
On the plus side, Kuylen reported that, as opposed to the completely failed Ordinary Congress in late June of this year, when a quorum of members could not be achieved, this past Saturday’s Extraordinary Congress enjoyed one hundred per cent attendance from members of the Federation. But that was still not enough to successfully complete all the agenda items proposed to be settled at the meeting. While they did get the 2016 Ordinary Congress Minutes and Financial Report, and the proposed 2017 Budget and Strategic Plan approved after some discussion, the 2015 Financials (under the stewardship of past President Ruperto Vicente) have still not been approved; and the planned personnel dismissals and new appointments to the Electoral, Electoral Appeals, and Ethics Committees were all put on hold, after an email letter from FIFA just days before the Congress (the letter was dated August 30) drew the FFB’s attention to a number of procedural errors that need to be corrected before such actions can be taken in conformity with the FIFA/CONCACAF Statutes.
Specifically, the FIFA letter calls for an early date for the elections of President and Vice-President, not settled from the 2016 Ordinary Congress, because it considers it “crucial that a fully elected FFB executive committee is in place” “in order to implement” a previously agreed “decision of the FIFA Member Associations Committee of 14 March 2016” that the “FFB needs to revise its statutes in order to bring them in line with the FIFA/CONCACAF Statutes and requirements by the end of April 2018.”
To the layman, it might look like a “chicken or egg” situation, where the elections and the revision of the statutes are concerned. It would appear that FIFA wants the elections first (They want “the election of the president and vice president as soon as possible”); and, according to Acting President Kuylen, the FFB is in discussion with FIFA to determine the best way forward to accomplish this.
What is for sure: last year’s historic, controversial and, to some observers, tainted vote for FFB President that remained deadlocked after over twenty rounds of voting, has left the FFB in all kinds of twists and turns. With FIFA mandating revision of the FFB Statutes, it is now saying that only an “elected” FFB Executive can see those changes through constitutionally. So, we await the next word from the FFB, as to when those elections will be held, and who all will be contesting this time.
P.S. The election for FFB President was deadlocked at the 2016 Ordinary Congress between incumbent President Ruperto Vicente and challenger Sergio Chuc; whereupon the FIFA representative appointed First Vice President, Marlon Kuylen to be Acting President. In the run-up to the 2017 Ordinary Congress, the Electoral Committee had rejected Sergio Chuc’s candidacy for President (both Vicente’s and Kuylen’s candidacies were accepted by the Electoral Committee); and Chuc’s supporting members thus boycotted the Congress on June 24 & 25 of this year, so elections could not be held.