BELIZE CITY, Tues. Aug. 18, 2020– A couple Saturdays ago, on August 8, a historic meeting of twelve committed football individuals, including one female, took place from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the VIP Lounge of the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan; historic because those twelve individuals comprised the Steering Council towards what they intend to become – The Belize Football Players’ Association (BFPA).
Not long after the first ever semipro football league was inaugurated in Belize back in 1991, veteran football stalwart Charles “Jim Baxter” Bennett commented to yours truly that what we needed now was a Players Association. His suggestion was not met with much enthusiasm, because the novelty of semipro football was just being relished after much negotiation and agitation; but as the years went by, it became apparent that players had very little say in the direction of the sport, where team owners made all decisions at the semipro level, and the disbursement of FIFA funds were solely dictated by a few bureaucrats in control at the executive level of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB). It’s not that players didn’t appreciate the need for empowered leadership at the executive level, but when they became frustrated by what they perceived as misguided top-level decisions, especially with regard to our national teams, there seemed to be no effective vehicle whereby their voices could be heard or have an impact on those decisions.
The idea has been gaining traction for some years now, especially amongst the more mature and veteran players; and a series of recent circumstances seem to have converged, whereby the energy, inspiration and impetus for the formation of a Players Association has finally taken root. The seed was finally planted on August 8, 2020; and immediately it began germinating and taking root, resulting in Vision and Mission Statements, which were today shared with us by the primary mover and Executive Secretary of the first Steering Council meeting, brother Idemuei TVPLGMoss.
If that name sounds familiar, Mr. Moss was until mid-February of this year, the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) Competitions Director. He was abruptly released on February 17 “without cause” during the time of some controversy surrounding clubs being disenfranchised at the Elective Congress of the BDFA (Belize District Football Association). In support of some disenfranchised clubs, Mr. Moss had just sent to the FFB Secretariat “a list of all the clubs that had registered on the official FFB club registration platform – FIFA Connect. This list showed which clubs that were eligible to be enshrined on District Association statutes.”
My friendship with Idemuei (formerly Nolbert) TVPLGMoss goes way back; he was a fellow founding member of the Belize Semipro Football League in 1991, where he represented Wagiya FC and I sat for Milpros FC.
When I found out a week later, on February 23 of this year, about his being terminated from his post at the FFB, and knowing his selfless passion for the sport, I immediately texted brother Moss.
Cxh – “Hey, how you doing, bro? I heard you parted ways with FFB.”
I. Moss – “I am well, bro. I will never part ways with FFB. Those in authority at FFB parted ways with me.”
There was obviously some disappointment and regret, but no bitterness in his tone.
And the proof is that brother Moss’s selfless dedication to the development of the sport of football continues, as evidenced by the Vision and Mission Statements approved by the members who responded to his invitation and attended the first Steering Council meeting of the Belize Football Players’ Association.
Below is information provided on BFPA Steering Council meeting by brother Idemuei Moss.
Members of the BFPA Steering Council
Idemuei Moss – FC Balliceauxrugu 1797- Executive Secretary
Dalton Eiley – Player Rep
Kenneth Budna – Bandits Sporting Club
Tyrone Pandy – Player Rep
Idania Ramirez – Jewel Fury FC/ Female Player Rep
Andres Makin, Jr. – Player Rep
Samuel Ikaal – Capital United FC
Khalil Velasquez – Player Rep
Marco Novelo – Progresso FC
Benito Juarez – FC Elite
Brenford Middleton – Caesar Ridge FC
Harrison Roches – Pomona Warriors/ Player Rep
THE BELIZE FOOTBALL PLAYERS’ ASSOCIATION
The organization is dedicated to create and sustain the requisite environment wherein Belizean football players can realize the greatest benefit as efficient agents of sustainable football within CONCACAF.
*To develop and sustain efficient and equitable governance and administrative architecture to facilitate desired football related service delivery to stakeholders.
*To create and sustain the requisite synergy for the positive evolution of football clubs in Belizean association football context.
*To serve as exclusive champion of all football players’ interests within Belize at interfaces with all sporting organizations in Belize.
*To acquire resources through football entities to drive efficient football production by football players as legal and natural persons.
*To evaluate football players’ performance in international matches to derive an applicable index of competitiveness both within Belize and CONCACAF.
*To select the respective representatives for dispute resolution chamber proceedings convened to resolve contract disputes between players and clubs.
*To establish and maintain a National Football Hall of Fame.
*To establish a Football Player Fund to alleviate economic hardships experienced by incapacitated footballers.
*To ensure that an equitable portion of the funds sent to FFB from FIFA World Cup profits is directed to the football players via the football clubs that presented elite players during World Cup Qualifying.
And what’s next in the process? According to Moss, the Vision and Mission Statements will form the basis from which to derive objectives to inform the Statutes development process. Once the Statutes are ratified by the Steering Committee, “We embark on an education effort in each district to get at least three players and three clubs as rudimentary branch. At that point, we call the first Congress.”
Seems like a good plan. Right on, ‘ballers!