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Feb 19, 2016

Embattled F.F.B. President Addresses Charges Made Against Him

The Football Federation of Belize is deeply divided tonight and its president Ruperto Vicente is under threat from his own executive. On Thursday night in Belmopan, three executive members made a move to suspend the embattled Vicente who was elected to the post four years ago. They claim he is taking unilateral decisions which do not augur well for football. But Vicente says not so fast since they don’t have the wherewithal to do so. News Five’s Isani Cayetano talks to both sides and has a report.   

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

For the past several months Belize’s participation in soccer, at the regional and international levels, has been somewhat minimal.  Since losing in the fourth round of World Cup qualifiers to Canada in September of last year, all things Jaguars have seemingly been placed on the back burner.  Gone are the halcyon days of working together as a team to achieve a common goal.  Along with them are players on the national team who have returned to their respective clubs.  What the Football Federation of Belize has now become is a house divided and boiling over is a bitter internal struggle among executives within that body.

 

Ruperto Vicente

Ruperto Vicente, President, F.F.B.

“According to the letter that the executive members have sent me they are complaining of me making more decisions on my own and not involving them.  Secondly, they are saying that the election process that has been held is not fair.  Thirdly, they are saying that I’m awarding contracts to individuals without their input and let me address the issues that they have [raised], the complaints that they have made.  You know, we have to separate what is executive decision from what is administrative decisions.”

 

Marlon Kuylen, Executive, F.F.B.

“Contracts were being awarded.  We had no input whatsoever and then this led to the fiasco with the field not being passed.  All along when we would go up there we said look, this field isn’t going to be ready, we have to do something about it and he never took our advice.  So at that point when the Belmopan Bandits could not represent Belize anymore, or at all, we decided that as an executive, the three of us, that we would resign en masse.  Before that he had tried to get three of us suspended but the congress did not go for it.”

 

T

Cruz Gamez

hose executives include Cruz Gamez, Sergio Chuc and Marlon Kuylen.  Since then that trifecta has been at odds with their president.  All of the issues mentioned previously came to a head on Thursday at the headquarters in Belmopan.

 

Ruperto Vicente

“There was a meeting called by the executives which they had asked for but it was erroneously written.  It was not properly written because in a request, when you’re requesting a meeting with the president, you’ve got to give the president twenty-one days and within those twenty-one days the president must call the meeting.  They sent a request with the date and time of the meeting and as well as the agenda of the meeting.  That is wrong, you cannot do that.  So you’ve taken away my powers to set the time and date of the meeting.  And so, we had an executive discussion where these three members said, “We have the power to suspend you.”  They said, “Well, we’re gonna suspend you.”  So I told them “No, I’m not gonna accept any suspension from you.”

 

Sergio Chuc

Sergio Chuc, Executive, F.F.B.

“The first meeting was the executive committee meeting on two points, noh.  About the updates of the election and the suspension of one of the members.”

 

Reporter

“Now we understand that that member is the president himself.  Now you are the first vice president, did that vote go through?”

 

Sergio Chuc

“Yes, that vote went through, however, at this stage we are still looking after a legal interpretation.”

 

Marlon Kuylen

Ruperto Vicente

“At that meeting it was decided that the suspension cannot go because the article that has been quoted is not the correct article.  You cannot suspend the president.  It is important for them to understand that.  So that was thrown away, thrown out.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Why are they moving to suspend you?”

 

Ruperto Vicente

“Well, you know, let me tell you something Isani, election is here.  Election is here and these guys have realized that they cannot win an election against me.  I am a force to be reckoned with when it comes to football.”

 

According to F.F.B. Executive Marlon Kuylen, the ongoing election of district association representatives is being sabotaged to allow for endorsement of incumbents as opposed to the election of new officers.

 

Marlon Kuylen

“In a lot of the districts right now, endorsements are happening again.  Before that happened I personally wrote the General Secretary and I voiced my displeasure and I told him that he has his own interpretation of the code.  We have an interpretation that before we go to these elections we should get legal advice.  He told me that I was interfering, that I had no right and they still went ahead with the plan. So we decided, you know what, we have to do something about this.”

 

Ruperto Vicente

“They cannot handle and they have gone from Toledo to Corozal asking for support and they have been told, “Mr. Vicente is doing a good job.  We’ll keep him there.”  And they cannot handle that so they want to go into election now without me as their opposition.  So it is convenient for them now to suspend me.  Why not suspend me two years ago since you were not happy with the way I was running the federation.  You could have suspended me then, so why wait six weeks before elections to suspend me?”

 

Sergio Chuc

“At the end of the day we decided that we will seek the legal advice from the legal advisor to the federation and Mr. Vicente will now call the legal advisor for CONCACAF and for FIFA and they will give a written interpretation as quick as possible and then from there we move on.”

 

Ruperto Vicente

“Mr. Chuc and the others are obsessed with the presidency of the federation.  Why?  It begs the question and so I am calling on everyone to find out why they are so obsessed with the presidency of the federation.  There must be some underlining thing with them why they want it so badly.  If you want it beat me at election.  Election is here.  Come against me at election and let’s see who is the better man for the position.  The election is free and open.  You come against me and I guarantee them that I will beat them at Election Day.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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3 Responses for “Embattled F.F.B. President Addresses Charges Made Against Him”

  1. Messi says:

    Ruperto needs to keep away from TV, as everytime he opens his mouth he proves that he is a liar. Saying that the Executive committee does not have the power to suspend a member is a lie. He know that he, Ruperto, along with chuc, gamez and Kuylen already suspended a member, Mr Pelayo, in 2014 and that when they took it to the congress members, the congress voted 4 to 3 to lift the suspension and Mr. Pelayo later resign voluntarily when he was sent back from the states.

    Another precedent was in 2013 when Andy Tillett and his execuitve committee for the Toledo Football Association suspended the deputy chairman of their executive committee Mr Allen Genus for five years. He is still on suspension and therefore was unable to run for the Toledo Elections last week,

  2. Malcolm says:

    So many other FIFA officials have been prosecuted for taking huge bribes, you have to wonder, as Mr Vicente says, why they want the job as President of F.F.B so badly.

  3. The real says:

    This is why football has been where it’s at in Belize. You have nothing but incompitent sharks/crooks trying to run things. They are all the same, the reason for the fight amongs themselves. Get someone from the outside who has been in a professional enviroment to help develop football in Belize. Look at Nicaragua for example , a country that was so far behind us and look at the improvement they have made with the quality of their footballers. What’s the plan and why have we not have a quality team by now, where is the youth developement program ? The vision for football has to be develope by someone with a lot more experties that these morons that try to run football and waste so much money.

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