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Sep 4, 2017

Federation Reunites, But Leaves a Lot on the Table after Congress

This past Saturday, the full quorum of members of the Football Federation of Belize met in an extraordinary session to complete business left over from the aborted general congress in June. While the election of the president and vice-president remains on the backburner for now, selections to the ethics, elections and electoral appeals boards of the Federation still had to be put off. That was due to issues raised by the international governing body FIFA in correspondence prior to the event. News Five’s Aaron Humes reports from the Ramada Princess Hotel.


Aaron Humes, Reporting

The Football Federation of Belize called it a successful meeting, but Saturday’s Extraordinary Congress left some important items on the table – items that will dictate the future shaping of the Federation.


Marlon Kuylen

Marlon Kuylen, Acting President, Football Federation of Belize

“On agenda item to remove the current electoral committee and electoral appeals committee, there was no justification as to why these committees were to be replaced or disbanded, and replaced with new members. Election of the Ethics Committee; since by statute the chairman and vice-chairman are to be elected, then the electoral committee must be present to conduct those elections. So these last items we could not proceed with; however, another extraordinary congress will be held to deal with these items that we could not go through with today.”


That also holds for the dismissal of seven persons affiliated with the Federation, including former general secretary Michael Blease; former communication director John Palacio; former president Ruperto Vicente; current executive member and national team goalkeeper Shane Moody-Orio. The Federation’s own statutes, according to a letter from FIFA General Secretary Fatma Samouia, would be violated because some of the members are under contract and the motions for dismissal carry no accompanying justification.


Ian Haylock

Ian Haylock, President, Premier League of Belize

“There were some inconsistencies and irregularities in relation to arriving at some of those names that were listed for dismissal. One of the things that the P.L.B. have always advocated for was fair play, transparency, in relation to moving football forward. And we were of the opinion that over the years, we have seen a lot of irregularities; and hopefully by appointing and electing a new F.F.B. executive, we were hoping that this would somewhat change the regular order of business that was formerly in place, which was to regulate and ensure that fair practice and fair play was in football and moving forward in a correct direction.”


Kuylen conceded to News Five that the Federation knew it could not proceed after FIFA’s letter; however the agenda had already been made up and a vote could only be taken at the meeting itself to remove the item from the agenda. He also stated that FIFA was offering its advice to the Federation with respect to these pressing issues and said it was not typical to share that with members. After those consultations, a timeline has been set for election of the executive, which is needed to proceed with the much-needed review of the Federation’s statutes.


Marlon Kuylen

“The question we had to them was, one, can there be elections at an extraordinary congress? And if no, can two ordinary congresses be called in one calendar year, and then how do we proceed depending on our meeting today and the results of it – how will it affect the elections when they are called. And that is why FIFA is telling us that on Monday they will convene, and then respond to our questions. So as a timeline, they would want it to be – because the statutes is terribly in need of some amendments and it was obvious today; that’s why this meeting took so long – because we had to be back and forth between the electoral code and the statutes and Mr. Davis can tell you it’s a mess to a certain extent. But because they are reviewing statutes of all their countries worldwide, and since we still don’t have a president and a vice-president in place, we cannot review our statutes until those two positions are filled, because since the elections were held in 2016 under the current statutes, we cannot have the elections for the two unfilled posts with a new statute – it has to be the same old statutes.”


Another extraordinary congress is due within a few weeks of Saturday’s meeting. Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

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