BELIZE CITY, Wed. Feb. 12, 2020– After its attempted Extraordinary Congress of December 18, 2019, with only 5 member clubs was declared null and void by the FFB, the recently quite inactive Belize District Football Association (BDFA), with assistance from representatives of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) and the National Sports Council (NSC), held a reconciliatory meeting last Tuesday night, February 4, at the Princess Ramada Hotel in Belize City. The new FIFA/FFB approved BDFA 2019 Statutes were presented, and as had been previously announced, all current and prospective members who were in the process of completing the FFB prescribed registration procedures, were invited to attend the Extraordinary Congress, set to take place at 9:30 on Saturday morning, February 8, at the same venue, Princess Ramada Hotel conference room.
The event on Saturday provided for the BDFA an “open goal” chance to reassure long standing participants in its local competitions, that they would be officially embraced as members of the “football family.” But according to our reports, unfortunately, those clubs already assured of their official membership of the BDFA, chose to play hardball with their football brothers, the “prospective members” whose names did not appear on the latest list of official congress members.
BDFA Chairman William “Billy” Moguel claims that he was overpowered on Saturday by the congress members, who are the real decision makers at the Extraordinary Congress. And those seated congress members voted overwhelmingly to exclude the “prospective members” from the congress. They were not even allowed inside the room as observers.
In flaunting what appeared to be an insistence on constitutional protocol, those enlightened congress members wasted a good opportunity to demonstrate empathy and a sincere resolve to assist others who had also “paid their dues” to football.
That unfortunate action on Saturday, whether intentionally or not, was reportedly received with great pain and anguish by the rejected members, which include the last three champions of the BDFA 1st Division competition – Caesar Ridge FC, FC Elite and Barrack Road FC. Also among those refused entry to the official congress proceedings was football icon of Yabra FC, Jerome “Peeloff” Maheia.
Ironically, following strong letters of complaint from Caesar Ridge FC, FC Elite and Barrack Road FC dated that same Saturday, February 8, and addressed to FFB, FIFA and CONCACAF operatives, the FFB’s Club Licensing Manager, Idemuei (Nolbert) Moss has responded with a stinging letter of rebuke for the misguided process, and in support of the aggrieved clubs. In his letter to the FFB Gen. Sec., dated February 10, Moss expressed grave concern with the list of BDFA congress members that were allowed to assume control at Saturday’s meeting. (The obvious implication is that there was another breach of the Statutes, which would make that Extraordinary Congress attempt also “null and void,” like the previous attempt on December 18, 2019.)
FFB Assistant General Secretary, Luis Pena, who attended Tuesday’s informal meeting, had sent BDFA Chairman William Moguel a letter dated February 7, with a list of 14 club names and their representatives, who were authorized to be delegates to the Extraordinary Congress “as per the BDFA Statutes Article 19.” This was apparently based on information provided to the G.S. by the BDFA.
However, in a letter addressed to FFB General Secretary, Earl Jones, on Monday, February 10, Moss observed that, “Of the 14 clubs that boast membership in BDFA, only Hattieville United and Face of Belize have met basic competition requirement of having players registered to FFB, which is a requirement for any player to be rostered on any club/team in any DA in the country.”
The letter continues: “…12 clubs, including Albert FC (of interest to Bro. Reneau, BDFA Vice Chairman) and Smart Brown Bombers (of interest to BDFA Executive Bro. Muschamp), have not even bothered to comply with FIFA mandated club and player registration requirements via FIFA Connect; yet these clubs are allowed to exercise governance functions in a congress when they are not even registered with the FFB.”
Below are some even more enlightening extracts from the FFB Club Licensing Manager’s letter:
“Club Licensing is a FIFA mandate, hence its enshrinement in FFB Statutes. Club licensing is a core function of the FFB. The District Associations do not have authority to determine what is a club and what is not a club. The FFB HQ alone has the expertise to do that. This is the function of the FFB Club Licensing Administration First Instance Body (FIB) as stated in the 2016 FFB Club Licensing Regulations, which were reviewed by CONCACAF and signed by then Ag. President Marlon Kuylen.”
“The FFB has an active club licensing administration, FIB and club licensing manager. The vetting of clubs to be enshrined on statutes through the FFB club licensing process is the exclusive prerogative of the FIB per club licensing regulations.”
Yet, the letter observes, in this case of the BDFA: “The current FFB club licensing regulations have been cast aside in the rush to get district elections under way. In the rush, many unlicensed and unlicensable clubs have been thrust into congresses and have participated in elections.”
Clearly, there have been gross violations which must be corrected. After a failed second attempt at its Extraordinary Congress, the BDFA is given guidance toward making good on their third effort, as Moss concludes his letter with:
“As FFB club licensing manager and a club functionary in the days under BNFA (Wagiya), this treatment of clubs is not conducive to the development of FFB and furthering FFB mission. The clubs, in my opinion, is the prime stakeholder in association football.
“Let’s do right by the clubs of Belize.
“Let’s get all these clubs to meet basic FFB club licensing requirements, before they are allowed to decide the fate of other licensed clubs.”
(Amandala Sports Ed. Note: Underlining ours. I second the motion by FFB Club Licensing Manager, Idemuei Moss. My “two cents” to BDFA executive and listed member clubs: (1) We removed the scourge of “politics” from our football way back in 1983. (2) Brothers, you are all intelligent, and I trust you mean well for football; but remember one thing, football is for everyone. We can’t defend the Garden if we are not united. “Love! Love! Love!” – Pele.)