Sports — 20 February 2016 — by Ken Vasquez
I question the legality of FFB recent actions towards the PLB!

(Ed. Note: Addressed to his fellow Premier League of Belize (PLB) members, the writer agreed to share his emailed thoughts with other members of the football family. With the recent turbulence inside the FFB, we thought it relevant to document the course of events.)

BELIZE CITY, Tue. Feb. 16, 2016–Gentlemen, I question not only the legality but the ethical standards of the FFB’s actions towards the PLB.

The Premiere League of Belize (PLB), as a private organization and an affiliate member of the FFB (PLB Statutes: Article #1:1-3), is constructed to promote, improve and advocate for fair play in organized football in the country of Belize (PLB Statutes: Article #2 Objectives; a—c). The PLB, as a member of the FFB (FFB Statutes: Article #10; 10.1—10.3), enjoys the autonomy, of not only orchestrating its day to day affairs, but also advocating for improvements within the sport. As a result of such, the PLB, a substantive member, is allowed to take part in Congress, able to nominate candidates for all bodies of the FFB to be elected, and, more so, to exercise the 6 votes granted by FFB (FFB Statute: Article #12 Members Rights; a—f).

However, such rights and protocols now appear to have been jeopardized. There is a stance taken by the FFB, “that the PLB is now in the hands of the FFB” (FFB minutes of 7th Congress: Item #14 – The Premiere League; (i) – Restructuring of the Premiere League). This stance stemmed from what was reported, that the President elect of the PLB and an executive elect member had “handed over” rights of PLB to FFB. That process of “handing over” and “taking over” of PLB by FFB not only contravenes PLB Statutes, but, more so, that of the FFB’s.

The FFB, in an effort to promote friendly relations between or within its affiliate member, namely PLB, should have tried to resolve whatever ripples had been created, and not taken over. This is an action which shows that FFB can be accused of breach of its statutes. (FFB, Statutes: Article #4 – Promoting friendly relations; 4.1—4.3)

As an independent body, the PLB had elected five (5) members to form its executive body in an open election by all clubs and approved by the FFB (PLB Statue: Article #5- Status of Clubs and other groups; 1—3). So, in the event that it was reported that two (2) of the elected members had chosen to “step down,” there still existed a legislative process for such, which facilitates for continuity of the PLB as an autonomous entity (PLB Statute: Article #13 Suspension and Article #14 Expulsion). Neither statutes mandates for FFB to take over any league/association or breach any statutes or regulations of any member body (FFB Statute: Article #7- Conduct of Bodies and Officials). In addition, the President elect of the PLB can be found guilty of breaching the PLB statutes by handing over the PLB, without consulting the executive committee and General Assembly. (PLB Statute: Article #36- President 2—5)

(There is a written letter by elected Vice-Chair, AL Westby, stating that himself and two others did not give consent to Mr. Perdomo.)

If the FFB had wanted to adhere to its statutes, and thus resolve whatever was the issue within the PLB by promoting friendly relations (FFB statue: Article #4), the FFB should have sent back PLB President to the PLB, and allow under the PLB statutes for the justified process to take its course, which would have been for the remaining three (3) elected members to take reign of the league and follow due process to conduct an independent elections. Or, if there was a vote of further no confidence, the regulated thing that the FFB could have done was to establish a tribunal and investigate the matter (FFB Statute: Article #55-Arbitration). That wasn’t the case; the FFB went straight to appointing a Normalizing Committee.

However, the FFB opted to further continue to breach the PLB statutes and thus its own, by not educating the PLB congress and remaining executive elect members on what must be done. That to have included: either dissolving the PLB and calling elections, or allow the remaining 3 elected officials to continue the affairs of the PLB and fill in gaps where necessary, in accordance with the PLB statutes.  However, not so was the case with the FFB.

To add insult to injury, the FFB had established what can be classed under their statute as Ad Hoc Committees (first a Normalizing Committee, then an Interim Committee, then a Board of Directors). These committees can be classed in direct contravention of the FFB statues, as none were given a MOU or definite time line as is mandated according to FFB statute: Article #48—Ad Hoc Committee. Nor were these committees manned and created by FFB Executive members, as per the same article #48.

A point of interest: At the end of the 2014/15 season, the PLB Gen. Sec. received a communique from the FFB Gen. Sec. alluding that “PLB’s Interim Committee has been dissolved.” Nothing has been documented as to how and why the previous Normalizing Committee was dissolved. The logical answer to such a notion has led to ponder along the lines of unconstitutional breaches of the legislative mandate of the PLB which is its statutes.

Through all this it can be concluded that the FFB illegally and unconstitutionally, repeatedly violated both PLB’s and its own statutes. In a letter from the FFB Secretariat to what they refer to as the PLB Secretariat, the verbatim with reference to possible delegates nominees/appointees by PLB for construction of framework for PLB Congress, the FFB Gen. Sec. demonstrated further infractions of the FFB statutes.

FFB has tracked actions that are not conducive of an autonomous and “family type atmosphere” towards a member affiliate.  Let’s be reminded that, before the 8th Congress of the FFB, the Gen. Sec. of the FFB alluded that, due to PLB not meeting a timeline to submit names of PLB delegates, that FFB would then respond and “suggest” who, or, rather, the top clubs from PLB who could have attended such congress. Furthermore, the FFB Gen. Sec. had insinuated that, while members, all 6, from PLB are afforded attendance, voting rights would not be granted. That we now know…was swept under the carpet, and PLB had chosen its own delegates.  Now this, it is more than farfetched that such a stunt be devised and actually tried to be implemented by such document, signed by what appears to be the signature of the FFB Gen. Sec. However, he MUST be aware of:

(1.) Voting Rights can only be withdrawn if members were suspended. To date, the PLB has recorded that no other that the FFB president approved and supported 9 clubs to form a BOD (Board of Directors), of which three had taken a sabbatical from 2015/16 football tournament. However, eight of the nine clubs have full membership, of which one has provisional membership (if we are to go by the regulated doctrines from the elected slate).

(2.) On motion of FFB stating delegates from 6 competing clubs, FFB Gen. Sec. must be aware of FFB Statutes: Article #17 – Status of Clubs, Leagues, Regional Association; 17.3 “In any case, no natural or legal person (including holding companies and subsidiaries) shall exercise control over more than one club or group whenever the integrity of any match or competition could be jeopardized.” With that said, if 3 of the clubs of PLB, with no fault to him, fall within subsidiaries of Mr. Saldivar… Only one should be allowed to vote at congress. So, this again questions the due diligence of the FFB Gen. Sec. to state that ONLY six competing clubs are entitled to vote.

FFB had been preaching “restructuring of PLB,” but for whom? How can they now state that PLB must revert back to an elected slate….when FFB President himself gave all 9 clubs “his word,” that the BOD was/is the way forward. He further went on elaborating that the BOD has his full support! Would be interesting to find out what went wrong with the FIFA mandate, as was repeatedly insisted, in an effort to quickly form the BOD.

To conclude, the FFB has acted unethically with first the barbaric and unconstitutional “take over” of the PLB; and secondly, continues to choke the PLB at its throat in an effort to silence the PLB of its rightful voice, by not facilitating the PLB to maintain its autonomy as it should, as per being a member association under the FFB, with responsibility for top league football (no MOU was ever signed by any one of FFB’s appointed committees). I must state that the last correspondence from FFB Secretariat to PLB Secretariat is nothing more than a gag order! Gentlemen, do your research!

“Shine a light in the dark; shadows will come to life, and the stories they speak are melodic and soothing.”

Regards,

Ken Vasquez

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