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Nov 28, 2017

Is F.F.B. presidential election already decided?

The Football Federation of Belize is hoping that the third time is the charm on Saturday, when it seeks once again to elect a president. In May of 2016, after twenty rounds of voting, delegates could not agree on a choice between incumbent Ruperto Vicente and deputy Sergio Chuc, leaving vice-president Marlon Kuylen acting in the role. A second attempt earlier this year was scuttled after quorum could not be reached. Vicente and Chuc are joined by insurance broker and national team committee member Onan McLean and former team owner and longstanding sporting enthusiast Daniel Fabro. The lead-up has been particularly nasty, with Kuylen publishing a nine-page statement branding the Federation a nest of snakes with much backstabbing and undermining. So why would anybody want the job? As Fabro told News Five’s Aaron Humes today, the youth are the silver lining in football’s dark cloud.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

Running for president of the Football Federation of Belize is harder than one may think. Instead of an electorate of thousands, the power to determine the future of the country’s most popular sport rests in the hands of twenty men, who demand, according to candidate Daniel Fabro, a high price.

 

Daniel Fabro, F.F.B. Presidential Candidate

Daniel Fabro

“Sometimes a couple of them change from election to election, but for the most part, from the elections two years ago, the twenty people have remained constant; I expect at least maybe sixteen of the twenty who voted in that last election will be voting again. That is, I think, one of the weakness within the Federation – elections for the presidency. I think we need more openness, to allow the football family as I put it – the players, the coaches, the teams, the public to be more actively involved in who will lead them henceforth. Frank [Sharp] and I have been working non-stop for the last couple months, we’ve been traveling this country from Punta Gorda to Corozal, trying to meet with the delegates, because as crazy as it sounds, some of them who might be allied to one side or allied to the other side have refused to meet with us. And we have tried, we have tried; and for us that is a disappointment, because I believe it is the responsibility of every delegate to hear the views and plans of every candidate and then for them to make a decision.”

 

Fabro alludes to the fact that persons running “for high office” have sought to interfere in the campaigning process, influencing who meets with him and running mate Frank Sharp. He sounded a further warning that in this last week up to the election, there will be a lot of “funny business” going on, but he will not be deterred by it.

 

Daniel Fabro

“I can tell you that there is a lot of movement going on right now within the association members, and right up to the last days before the election, probably on election day, there will be a lot of funny moves and funny movements. You will see electors that were on the list being removed because maybe the people who are in charge of them might not feel like they might vote how they might want them to vote. And these things, if not illegal, are in bad spirit. It is really bad and it does not bode well for the development of football.”

Fabro is currently country director for the youth program Rush Soccer and has roots in sports going back to his time as commissioner of the former semi-professional basketball league and owner of former national football champions Juventus, based in Orange Walk. He holds on to his optimism that change is being sought, but he says much needs to be done to set Belizean football on the right path.

 

Daniel Fabro

“We’re hoping that in the long run that these people will consider and seriously give a chance to the future development of football, and think about the children and the help and the assistance that they need to develop to their full potential. And give Frank and I a chance to come in and really work with them and help them take football to another level.”

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

 

The election takes place at ten a.m. at the Ramada Princess Hotel in Belize City.

 

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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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