The Editor, Amandala
Sun. Nov. 23, 2020– As the President of the Belizean American Caribbean Football Association (BACFA) and our affiliate arm the Belizean American Football Hall of Fame (BAFHF) in the United States, we take this golden opportunity to let all the football players in Belize and the United States know that we fully endorse the formation of the Belize Football Players Association (BFPA).
The reasons why we support this initiative is because over the years many football players in Belize who played football for the love of the sport were abused, exploited, disrespected, given no recognition through the formation of a Belize Football Hall of Fame, received no compensation for playing the sport, or their contributions to the sport of football, and end up living in poverty when they get older before they die.
When many players, including myself, played football in the 1960’s and 70’s in Belize, the MCC and the other stadiums throughout the country were all packed to capacity, and money was being made by the people who managed the football leagues. Up to this day I am still questioning myself to ask, where did all that money go? Yet, the leagues would still ask business owners to sponsor the trophies for the winners of their tournaments.
I received a Champ of Champs Trophy in 1978 with Chito’s Eleven, which was donated by Esso Oil Company, and that I cherished and brought with me to the United States. One morning when I got up, I noticed that the gold color was peeling off it. When I examined it more closely, I found out that it was gold plated color, and the trophy was plastic. I looked at the other trophies that I had and they were the same material.
I became so angry that I did not have the same feeling towards my trophies any more. I personally felt that, for all the efforts and sacrifices the players and myself contributed to the game, we were disrespected by the football league. I decided that if I was to be involved in a league, I would make sure that the players are given trophies that have value. Our league has sponsored many tournaments, and we always make sure that quality trophies are issued to the players.
Today, when I receive telephone calls about many of our former football players, they are either sick, in need of some basic help to survive, dying or dead. The Belize Football League does not have any Program of Fund that I know of, that is offering any form of assistance to our former players. Family members, friends and football comrades are the people who are making it their duty to assist these players.
One of the founders in this new football association that I know and have played football with, from Sacred Heart School in Dangriga to Chito’s Eleven in Belize City, is Mr. Nolbert Moss. He has the love and passion for this sport and will always put the interest of the players first.
Without the players, no football game can be played. In Belize today the officials are acting as if “without the officials, no football game can be played.”
What makes matters worse is that many of these officials have not played football or, if they played, did not make the sacrifices that many of our great football players made. Their continued delay and reluctancy in establishing a Belize Football Hall of Fame, is enough to demonstrate that they do not care about former football players. Now, we the players must take matters into our own hands and let them know that we care about ourselves and we will not take any more abuses.
(AMANDALA Sports Ed. Note: Mr. Idemuei (Nolbert) Moss of Dangriga is the Executive Secretary of the newly formed Belize Football Players Association (BFPA) which was launched on August 8 of this year and had its Statutes ratified on Saturday, October 31, in Belmopan.)