FFB has new executive Print
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Thursday, 07 December 2017 00:00

Sergio Chuc has won the election for presidency of the Football Federation of Belize. He now joins the executive of the FFB, along with Vice President Elect Cruz Gamez, filling up 2 empty seats that have been vacant for 1 year and 7 months.

The election for those posts happened on Saturday, December 5, in a full Congress of the FFB, which was held at the Princess Ramada Hotel. Chuc was up against the incumbent, Ruperto Vicente, and other candidates such as Onan McLean, and Daniel Fabro. In the first round of elections, Chuc defeated his opponents when he got 14 votes out of the possible 20. Mclean received 4 votes, and the other 2 went to Vicente. Fabro, who was a newcomer entering the race late, received none of the votes.

In the second round of elections for Vice President, Gamez, who was also a member of Vicente’s past administration, was elected after getting 14 votes, beating Carlos Galvez, who got 4, and Frank Sharp, who got 2. The other candidate, David Griffith, was eliminated after the first round.

This orderly election result regularizes the state of affairs in the administration of football. Readers know that in those 19 months, the FFB had been in a state of stagnation, during which Marlon Kuylen, last year’s Senior Vice President Elect, had to take up leadership as Acting President. He has written an extended account of the difficulties he faced to make any meaningful change because persons in the football community resisted his objectives to move the sport forward in Belize.

Speaking at a press conference held shortly after the FFB Congress, President Elect Chuc spoke about his intention to unite the football community behind the objective of improving Belize’s football.

He said, “There is not much in the aspect of uniting. As you saw the victory, it was 70% of the votes. So, I don’t think there is much opposition out there to my presidency. So, the few people that wanted to be led by another one of the candidates, I think they will come in, and my understanding is that they have the best interest of football [at heart]. So, I don’t see any problem moving ahead… I’m here to work… most people know about my business approach, and if you don’t want to work, then I have absolutely no problem moving ahead without you.”

He told the Guardian that he must first familiarize himself with processes already put in place by the outgoing president. He said that the executive must respect these as they have the best intentions for football. He said that he feels confident that the measures put in place were done so to develop football and the executive will move from there. Another area of focus will be the FFB’s administration. He noted that with his management, finance and business background he will bring a lot to the table. He noted that he thought that it was ridiculous that administrative expenses are as high as they are and it is something that he will be focused on making it a priority. He said that administration expenses under his tenure will not only be spent in Belmopan but rather across the country where money needs to be spent in the development of the game.

Chuc’s administration will succeed Vicente’s which was in place from 2012 to 2016. He, Kuylen and Gamez are the only remaining members of that past administration. Speaking with the press after the election, Vicente said that he wished them “all the best” in their leadership of the sport. He also revealed that they had been resisting his way of doing things from as far back in 2012, months after they were elected to replace Bertie Chimilio and his executive.

Vicente said, “…These guys wanted take control of Belizean football. I spent most of the 4 years despite the success that I had, I spent more time fighting them [rather] than focusing on development of football. But now they are there, they don’t have anybody to fight them and they don’t have anybody to fight. So focus on the development of football.”

These 3 hold the view that Vicente became obsessed with keeping the office of the FFB President, instead of working for the betterment of the sport, which was their objective when they ran together against Chimilio in 2012.

In that press conference after the elections, Chuc said that his focus at this point is to get access international funding for the development of football in Belize. From his perspective, there are several such opportunities, including FIFA funding, that Belize has not been taking advantage of.

He has the pledged support of the Senior Vice President, Marlon Kuylen, who has worked during his time as acting president to put the framework for a short-term development plan for football in Belize. Gamez, Chuc’s running mate in these elections, has said that he would like to see youth and women football improve. Executive member Darlene Vernon, who was elected last year on Ruperto Vicente’s slate, has also declared support for Chuc, and she told the press that she will continue to use her expertise as a lawyer to focus on areas such as the FFB statutes, and the regulations of the Premier League of Belize, amending them as needed. The other executive member, Shane Moody Orio, told the press that he has been focused on the concerns of the professional players, to ensure that they are comfortable while training to represent Belize. He says that he wants to help this administration make improvements, so that young, up-and-coming players will have better opportunities than those that he and the current generation of footballers have.