FFB on the ropes Print E-mail
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Thursday, 09 June 2011 00:00

Bertie ChimilioThe Football Federation of Belize is on the ropes after the National Sports Council announced on Tuesday June 7th that the FFB is no longer recognized as the national body representing football. FFB is not in isolation however as the Belize Darts Federation, Belize Boxing Federation, Judo Association of Belize, Belize Domino Association and the Belize Tumblers Association find themselves in the same position.

Requirements for the NSC to consider any federation or Association as the governing body to a sport include the presenting of financial statements, a budget, calendar of activities, a copy of its constitution or statutes, and minutes of the last General Meeting to show how elections were conducted to form the governing structure of the Federation. None of the Associations and Federations met the requirements and after being given an extended compliance date of June 1st, they still did not meet them. That led to a meeting by the National Sports Council and the decision was made to no longer recognize the organizations as bodies representing the sports.

The FFB situation is going into overdrive as a new Federation has been in the process of organizing itself having already held elections at the district level and going into elections for national representation on June 11th.

The FFB meanwhile seems to be oblivious to what has been taking place. It sent out a release in which in a nonchalant manner explains that Belize will be playing at an international level stating “The road to World Cup Brazil 2014 for Belize commences on June 15th, 2011, when the first of a two game series will be played at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Trinidad and Tobago against Montserrat.  The return match will be at the FFB Field in Belmopan on Sunday June 19th at 4:00 p.m.  The winner of this series will join 23 other teams from the CONCACAF Region in a draw to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on July 29th, 2011 to determine the groups of play.” With a line drawn on that same release the FFB explains that “The Football Federation of Belize has learnt via the media that the FFB is suspended as a National Association.” It continues “The FFB hereby informs the general public that the Federation was registered in accordance with the Sports Act.  The National Sports Council kept changing the requirements for registration.  There are many Associations that are not registered other than the ones mentioned on the media.” And it concludes quite authoritatively that “The FFB stands to be corrected, however until all legal issues have been cleared; the FFB shall and will continue to represent Belizean Football for Belize.”

The FFB’s release was followed minutes later by one from the Ministry of Sports in which it states that, “The Ministry of Sports has written the FOOTBALL FEDERATION OF BELIZE informing them that it has been informed by the National Sports Council that their Federation “has failed to meet the requirements for registration with the Council, as the National body for the administration of football in Belize”.

As a consequence the Ministry has informed the Football Federation of Belize that their Federation “is not authorized to represent this Country in any local or international competition or in any other forum for football on behalf of the Government, People and Nation of Belize.”

The Ministry has further informed UNCAF and CONCACAF of this decision. Furthermore, the Minister has written to FIFA President, Joseph Blatter, to inform him of the decision taken by the Ministry. In a letter addressed to FIFA President, the Minister told him that “we welcome dialogue with FIFA and its affiliates that will help our nation through this transition period for football in Belize” and expressed the hope that together they can take the necessary steps to save football in Belize and to place our nation at par with our Central American and CONCACAF counterparts.”

The entire situation is one which bears watching as it develops since it is likely, and we have information to let us believe, that it may end up in the courts. No matter where it ends, it is more than assured that the steps taken by the National Sports Council is within reason as for too long the FFB has been let to run loose in the running of football in Belize forcing the country to suffer in competition over the years with very little progress attained.