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Mar 16, 2012

Football Federation elects New Executive

There is a wind of change at the field of the Football Federation of Belize. On Thursday night Dr. Bertie Chimilio said he was blown by that wind of change. The fourteen-year president of the F.F.B. lost his bid for number fifteen. He went up against Gerald Henry Senior and Ruperto Vicente; Vicente won. Chimilio’s senior-vice president Bernaldino Pech lost along with Daniel Fabro to Sergio Chuc. Darlene Padron and John Moody lost the vice-president post to Rawell Pelayo. The two elected members are Marlon Kuylen and Cruz Gamez. They beat the Speaker of the House Michael Peyrefitte, Alejandro Palacio, David Jones and Hilberto Muschamp. As the news broke, the officers guarding the gate were relieved of their duties and the new president allowed the media entry to the F.F.B. compound. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

For over a decade, Dr. Bertie Chimilio has been the president of the Football Federation of Belize. For many years his detractors had attempted to dethrone him, but they have been unsuccessful.  But the Ministry of Sports recently intervened in football with court cases along with their supervision of district elections. Their efforts culminated on Thursday night at the F.F.B. compound at the entrance of Belmopan.

Miley Garcia, Sports Administrator

Miley Garcia

“A new executive has been elected for the F.F.B. I think for the sport of football it has been a winning night—a winning night because finally a process that was put in place; that took over a year and put in place by the vision of the honorable John Saldivar as the former Minister of Sports has finally come to fruition. Tonight all the seven foot ball districts and the Premier Football League of Belize had a chance to vote and to truly elect an executive that they want. I think that is the most wonderful achievement of tonight; I think football has won tonight.”

After the five-hour election supervised by FIFA, Chimilio lost.  While some left the compound, and others gave congratulations to the winners, Chimilo sat heavily in his office. His demeanor could not hide the emotion of the fourteen years of his love affair with the sport that had come to an end, just moments before.

Bertie Chimilio

Dr. Bertie Chimilio, Former President, F.F.B.

“I want to say thanks to the many players, the many fans of football. We brought it from one level to another level and you know when you have something good everybody want it. I am happy that other people wanted it and they will have their turn to show themselves.”

Jose Sanchez

“How long have you actually been the president?”

Dr. Bertie Chimilio

“Fourteen years; then we had nothing—zero dollars—now we have over eight point seven five million dollars sitting down here. I took up football when there was no national team; everyone was afraid. We took everything by the horn. I am not finding any faults for this loss today. I think the folks they probably believed there was a need for a chance—whether that change will be for the food or bad; we’ll have to wait and see.”

Jose Sanchez

“My first year as a journalist was in 2001 and I did a story where some football players were going to overthrow this person, Dr. Bertie Chimilio. I was like oh this guy si going to be gone in a couple weeks. That was in 2001. How much of that have you faced over the past decade or so?”

Dr. Bertie Chimilio

“All the time. For every development we made, every good move we made, there were those who had their own ideas. But like I said, I want to ask the new president to be patient because he will go through the same troubles that I’ve been through; he will face the wrath of people out there who don’t know. So it is going to be hard, it is going to be rough, but nonetheless, you just gotta work. Life moves on.”

The new president, Ruperto Vicente, is eager to get his team working on the football green.

Ruperto Vicente

Ruperto Vicente, President, F.F.B.

“This is not a victory for me, but a victory for football in Belize. We promise to work extremely hard to improve the sport that we have grown to love.”

Jose Sanchez

“Now who is your slate Mister Vicente?”

Ruperto Vicente

“The slate is myself as president, Mister Sergio Chuc as the senior vice-president, then we have Mister Rawell Pelayo as second vice-presiden. Then we have Mister Cruz Gamez as executive member as well as Mister Marlon Kuylen who is also an executive member. Those are the five people who make up the executive of the federation. But keep in mind as well that we are only the executive and the general assembly of the federation is powerhouse of the federation.”

Jose Sanchez

“It’s been over a decade since we’ve had another president. What will you do differently? What would you do the same?”

Ruperto Vicente

“We want to unite the football family—we want to involve everyone in the development of our sport and certainly one person or five persons cannot do the job that is required to improve football in this country. So we must have everybody, the entire football family come together to improve this and we are going to be the guiding light.”

Reporter

“What will be your first order of business?”

Ruperto Vicente

“First order of business is first of all to come up with a strategic plan for football. We do not have a strategic plan and that’s the first thing we’re going to be working on. Secondly we are going to be looking at what’s here at the federation and what needs to be done here at this facility; the office and getting a staff in place.”

Sergio Chuc

New Senior-vice president Sergio Chuc says that he is particularly interested in youth development.

Sergio Chuc, New Senior Vice-President, F.F.B.

“The delegation from FIFA has extended their help. We have a direct contact with Guatemala right now, Mister Rafael Tinoco who is the president of UNCAF. He is here and he has actually told us that he has immediate help for us in coaching which is one thing we had been talking about. And he said immediately; that could start like now.”

Jose Sanchez

“So that would be something that you as senior vice-president is looking forward to. What do you expect to do during your term? What is your intention?”

Sergio Chuc

“I think one of the main focus we’ve always been preaching is youth football that we believe in order for Belize to be able to compete regionally and internationally, we need to start from the bottom. We need to start with the youths; strengthen them, teach them the basics of the game, so that they are able to compete effectively. Honestly speaking the level we have right now is below our counterparts in Central America. If we starting working on the youths now—four six years—we can see Belize competing one on one with anyone of our regional counterparts and doing excellent.”

Jose Sanchez

“In terms of the actual finances of the F.F.B., is part of your mandate to review the finances; what has occurred over the past decade or so?”

Ruperto Vicente

“Certainly yes. We have to look at the finances of the federation, review it and see where malpractice has been. But that’s not going to be our main focus. Our main focus is getting back our football on track.”

Reporter

“How did you view the FIFA representatives’ overview of the elections?”

Ruperto Vicente

“They were happy. We were not in the room doing the elections. But the FIFA representatives were very happy with the process and certainly they expressed their happiness in a good way and that it was the football family that had spoken and they made the change.”

But Chimilio is not the only person hanging up his jersey. The other two faces on the forefront of football are no longer there. John Saldivar is no longer with the Sports Ministry and Miley Garcia is also transitioning to a different post.

Miley Garcia

“I need to mention that I may be seeing my departure from the ministry of sports, but I think that the process is now complete and like I’ve said the football family is the biggest winner in all of this because now there is a process in place. The biggest contention that the minister John Saldivar had was that there was no actual process in place and the elections were being held and much to the ire of the football family. Now as a process in place, a new president was elected tonight, but if the football family is dissatisfied with his performance, within six months they can change him because the process is now in place. So football has won.”

So with all new faces in the game, we will have to wait and see if they can score goal. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

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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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5 Responses for “Football Federation elects New Executive”

  1. JESSEJAMES says:

    Well to say the least. I am glad Bertie Chimilio GONE….he should have been replaced yrs ago. He is a thief

  2. belizeanpride says:

    It was time for him to leave the F.F.B leadership. We need to go more since we’ve stalled alot many times due to Mr. Bertie un bias acts with some semi-pro football players. Hope this new crew work for the benefit of the players and for the pride of our jewel.

  3. Charlie Price says:

    Does this mean that WE WILL GET A DECENT STADIUM…..with SURROUNDING SEATING?

  4. Darrel says:

    Congratulations to Mr. Vicente and his team. With Dr. Chimilio gone (which I am sure FIFA will have a post for him in one of their subcommittees) out of the FFB I do hope that football is allowed to blossom in Belize. Not only does the facilities at Belmopan need to be improved but also those within the different municipalities. Moreover, I do hope that Mr. Vicente and his team do not forget women in their plans. As the manager of a female football team, Rising Starz FC, in San Ignacio, I am eager to see how the women game will fit into their plans.

  5. CEO says:

    This was a dam good move. After all these years our players are still having to go do back breaking work and then go play home games in stadiums all over the world instread of having our own facility.

    Berttie should ahve been gone a long time ago.

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