DANGRIGA, Stann Creek Fistrict, Wed. Oct. 21, 2020– Football family, below are quotes from Concacaf President Victor Montagliani and General Secretary Phillippe Moggio on the Concacaf ScotiaBank Champions League, followed by my words of advice as a founding member of the Belize Football Players Association (BFPA).
Concacaf President, Victor Montagliani:
“This competition is very important because it is the top club tournament in the region… every club in Concacaf aspires to compete in it as it allows the opportunity to qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup, the opportunity to be Concacaf champion, so there is a lot at stake,” he told concacaf.com after the draw to determine the Round of 16 match-ups.
“What’s more important is that there is an entire platform for club competition in our region, and that is not only the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, it is also the Scotiabank Concacaf League, which gives the opportunity for more teams from the region to compete.”
Concacaf General Secretary, Phillippe Moggio:
“We also host the Caribbean Club Championship, plus the Caribbean Club Shield where more amateur teams can compete, obviously pushing to become more professional… so we have developed a system of competitions that we believe will help club competition in the region to advance,” Moggio noted.
“Club football build-out,” beams the Concacaf General Secretary, “represents a key pillar of President Victor Montagliani’s ONE Concacaf Vision, and a main driver for development starting from the amateur ranks to the pinnacle of the professional realms.
“When we talk about football development, which is our mandate, the club system is at the heart of that, so if we develop the right club structures in the region, helping the leagues in the territory to become more professional with best practices, the right club licensing enhancement to ensure that we are one pushing, but also incentivizing for each of these clubs to get better, this will grow the sport and talent across the region,” he noted.
The organization that champions the right of every Belizean club and footballer to be given every opportunity to become the best club or footballer in CONCACAF, the Belize Football Players Association (BFPA) takes the position that the pathway to the Champions League is Premier League of Belize, CONCACAF League, CONCACAF Champions League. The BFPA maintains that all Football Federation of Belize (FFB) club competitions should bridge the grassroots football club to professional football club spectrum in Belize. The FFB Club Licensing System should be administered in such a way that the process alone, with no political interference, shall be the only means to produce the functional legal entities to participate in FFB club competitions.
It is a travesty against football clubs in the FFB domain, that there exists no relegation-promotion system that allows First Division clubs in the ten FFB competition districts to be promoted to the Premier League of Belize League Championship (PLC) on the merit of competitiveness. At the same time, such a relegation system would enhance the quality of PLC by demoting the last place PLB clubs to the next lowest 6-10 month long FFB club competition. Unfortunately, there exists no bridge competition between the PLC and the 2-month-long District Champions club inter-district competition. It is the position of the BFPA that there needs to be a 6-10 month long competition to accommodate the demoted PLC losing clubs and the promoted Inter-district champions.
A proposed way forward in the next club competition cycle is to have the FFB invite the first two clubs in each of ten competition districts that have demonstrated the best governance and competitive capacity via the FFB Club Licensing System to participate in the Elite Football League consisting of twenty clubs playing for at least six months to yield eight clubs for the following year along with the two (2) lowest placed clubs of the last PLC. This system would ensure that every club in Belize is afforded the opportunity to compete for the most coveted club prize in FIFA via the CONCACAF Champions League, the FIFA Club World Cup.
To get this going, 2020 FFB Club Licensing Regulations must be amended to remove the FFB Executive Committee and the FFB General Secretariat from being the administrators of the FFB Club Licensing System. The FFB Club Licensing System must be administered nationally by two professional bodies appointed by the FFB Executive Committee. The First Instance Body (FIB) and the Appeals Body together shall operate independently of the FFB Executive Committee and the FFB General Secretariat. This is important, since the individuals who make up the FFB Executive Committee may be driven by political motives to stay in power for as long as possible, without concern for football club development. The FFB General Secretariat, though a professional body per FFB statute, has been hijacked by the past and current presidents to ensure that the political ambitions of the various FFB presidents are pursued. This has often been done to the detriment of football clubs in Belize.
The Belize Football Players Association hereby calls on all clubs in all 10 FFB Competition Districts to register with FFB via FIFA Connect. This platform should allow clubs to submit pertinent documents for review by the FFB Competitions Director, who then should submit names of all clubs desirous of obtaining an FFB Club License to the FFB Executive Committee via the FFB President. This should set the stage for the FFB President to invite all such clubs to apply for an FFB Club License, which should signal the FFB Club Licensing Manager to prepare club licensing application packages to submit to the FFB Club Licensing Administration First Instance Body for approval.
A professionally executed FFB Club License SHOULD bear the signature of the FFB President or his designate AND the Chairman of the FIB, and NOT the signature of the political District Chairman and the politically susceptible FFB Competitions Director.
(AMANDALA Sports Ed. Note: The well-articulated proposals above are “just what the doctor ordered” for the FFB, who we think should embrace them wholeheartedly for the better development of our football. The last two paragraphs are no doubt to guard against the type of disgusting shenanigans we observed in elections earlier this year at the Belize District Football Association Congress, and we suspect in a couple other “elective” congresses as well.)