National Football Coach will stay in Belize Print E-mail
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Thursday, 31 January 2013 00:00

FFB'sThe Football Federation of Belize (FFB) held a press conference on Wednesday, January 30th to announce that  Le Roy Sherrier Lewis, the coach for the Belize National team, will continue being the coach.

President of the Football Federation, Ruperto Vicente said as much when he went through the entire sequence of events that led the coach to resign and then now, return to his former position. According to Vicente, on Saturday, January 26th, after the Honduras match up which took place on Friday, January 25th, Sherrier accepted full responsibility for the loss as he believed that team Belize could have won that match. Sherrier attributed the loss to tactical changes which did not work out for Team Belize. While in communication with the Federation, Sherrier also gave them the opportunity to review, and reevaluate everything that happened in Costa Rica and left it for the Federation to decide what to do with the coach. He also set up some tasks for the Federation to carry out. Up to that point, the coach had indicated that he would not resign.

Meanwhile, Vicente travelled to Costa Rica to view Belize's final game in the competition but not before having received a letter, which was addressed to the Costa Rican Football Federation, in which, it was alleged that a U.S. court had ruled that Sherrier owed  and was to pay $50,000 to another party in the United States. Vicente said during the press conference that it was never his intention to bring up the subject of the letter to Sherrier or the team while they were still in competition. Nonetheless, the coach got wind of the letter and resigned since he thought he would have been fired. Since then ,it has been determined that the letter was bogus, phone numbers which are listed on the letter, said Vicente, are non-functioning. 

Things since then have toned down considerably and on Tuesday, coach Sherrier has communicated to the FFB president that he is prepared to return to Belize. He, however, has stipulated conditions for his return. These include that Belizean coaches fielding teams in competition must be properly trained and Sherrier himself will oversee their training. He also asked that each of the semi-pro teams competing should have an under-17 and an under-20 team attached to it. This, according to Vicente, is already on the FFB's plans to move the sport forward. He noted that they already have plans to restructure the league in this manner. Another of Sherrier's requests is that his salary be raised to anywhere between 3 to 4 thousand U.S. dollars per month, lodging and meals should also be taken care of. To the request,  Vicente said that looking at the results of Team Belize at the Copa Centroamericana, it gives the coach the negotiating power and he has earned that right. He has taken our team to the competition and we have qualified to the Gold Cup, so the coach has that right to negotiate. In any event, Vicente said that the renegotiation of Sherrier's contract would have had to be done in any event since his assignment was up to the end of the Copa Centroamericana.

Latest communication with the coach on Wednesday indicates that he will be returning to Belize to sign his contract, which is being prepared, on February 11th. For the time being, Sherrier goes to Costa Rica from where he goes to the U.S. on the 9th of February and then returns to Belize.

Other announcements made at the press conference were that the FFB is looking for marketing personnel to promote the sport and to secure financing for the national team. Vicente said that there are companies and individuals that have contributed to the national team but there is much that needs to be done since the last tournament is running the federation in excess of 250 thousand dollars. The upcoming Gold Cup is expected to be more than that and, a telethon is being planned as a fund raiser.

Also announced was that Deon McCauley is looking at his option of playing in the Major League Soccer in the United States where he has been invited to play. Also receiving similar offers was Woodrow West.

The FFB will also be hosting the U-16 tournament slated for October and November of this year as approved by the congress of UNCAF. Belize will also be fielding male and female football teams at the Central American Games in March. The teams will leave on March 3rd and return on the 18th.

Vicente also announced that efforts will now be concentrated on improving the skills of our team in particular in the area of endurance where gym time will be allotted as well as training sessions will be organized to take place in the Mountain Pine Ridge area to improve endurace.