BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Aug. 20, 2020– As we go to press this morning, indications are that the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) is going ahead with its Elective Congress scheduled for this Saturday, August 22, at the San Ignacio Hotel.
With an annual budget in the millions, it is perhaps inevitable that there will be much “politicking” whenever elections are due for the executive of the FFB. With 7 football districts having 2 votes each, and the Premier League of Belize (PLB) with 7 votes, it stands to reason that the aspiring FFB president will seek to have the PLB in his corner. The PLB has its own problems, as its own Elective Congress, where the incumbents were in serious danger of being unseated, was recently postponed to a later date. The incumbent PLB executive is in support of the incumbent FFB president, so it follows that this FFB executive would like to get this FFB Elective Congress over with. It also follows, that his challengers contesting seats at the FFB elections would prefer a postponement of the Congress, hopefully until the PLB elections could be concluded, and again hoping for their supporters’ success in those PLB elections.
As the Covid-19 pandemic saw a massive surge in infections in Belize last week, a new State of Emergency (SOE) was declared on Friday, with gatherings limited to ten individuals.
The FFB had sent out notifications on August 7 of its upcoming Elective Congress on August 22; but there has been no announcement of postponement following the new SOE.
On Tuesday of this week, some “Congress Members and Declared Candidates” sent a signed letter to the Chairman of the FFB’s Electoral Committee. Some excerpts: “…It is estimated that a minimum of 50 persons from all six districts and Belmopan will attend the Congress and regardless of any logistical arrangements to convene the Congress within the Emergency Power Regulations (SI 119 of 2020), there will definitely be situations of more than 10 persons gathering at a location within the hotel”; and requested that, “…based on the current Covid-19 crisis in Belize, and the authority vested in the Electoral Committee, that the elections be postponed to a later date when we all feel safe to convene for the Congress.”
There has been no official response to this letter (signed by 9 individuals) so far.
Yesterday, we inquired on the FFB Media Group Chat on Whatsapp: “Is FFB going ahead with its Congress on Saturday, August 22?”
The reply from FFB Senior Vice President, Marlon Kuylen was: “Yes. GS (General Secretary) outlined plans on compliance of social distancing and other Covid-19 protocols with Police yesterday and got the go ahead. Doing a walk-through tomorrow with them.”