A new FFB Executive Print E-mail
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Thursday, 22 March 2012 00:00

New FFB Executive (L-r) Cruz Gamez, Sergio Chuc, Ruperto Vicente, Rawell Pelayo and Marlon KuylenIn early December 2010 Hon. John Saldivar started off the process of ensuring free and fair elections for the football community with the basic stance being that, “My objective over the next few weeks is to determine whether or not that system exists and if it doesn’t exist how we can make it democratic so that there is no dictatorship by the people making decisions about football in this country.”

Since then ,  it was a rollercoaster ride for all parties involved in football in Belize culminating with what Hon. Saldivar had set out to do from the onset - that is to have free and fair elections. The football community went through consultations, and investigation of the FFB, court hearings, the suspension of a FIFA qualifier match in Belize, the intervention of FIFA and then election of the 7 football districts and the Premier Football League. The final step to the process was held on Thursday March 15th, when three slates contested to be the executive of the Football Federation of Belize.

After a 5-hour process ,a new president was elected in the first round of voting. Ruperto Vicente had bested the two other challengers, including Dr. Bertie Chimilio, who held that position for 14 consecutive years. Joining Vicente were Sergio Chuc who is now the Senior Vice President, Rawell Pelayo,  Vice President, and Cruz Gamez and Marlon Kuylen as the 2 other members. The elections were observed by two representatives of FIFA.

After the process which took the better part of a year and three months, the football community is now gathering itself to set the course for the development of football. The Guardian spoke to the man at the helm of it all, Ruperto Vicente. He explained that getting to where he is now was exciting and now it will take a lot of work to develop football in Belize.

For the time being, Vicente says finances are a priority. He explained that the FFB is broke; there is no money in the bank accounts of the Federation. While the new executive was expecting to take over a federation with at least some money, there is none. Vicente says they will now be looking at partners for financing to jump-start programs -  in particular youth football programs  - adding that the youths should not suffer because of lack of finances. Then, there is the FIFA subvention ,which will also help in alleviating the financial condition of the federation. Those will be augmented by what Vicente says will be “innovative ideas on how to raise funds.”

The only silver lining in the whole situation is that the executive took over office expecting to have huge debts by the federation. That however was not the case; there are some bills that need to be cleared.  For now, the new executive has no idea why it is that an organization that is supposed to be one of the best financed in the country does not have any money. Vicente said that investigations will now be conducted to determine that and, “the executive will have to decide with the evidence that they come across what needs to be done.”

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 March 2012 13:56