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Apr 8, 2013

Football congress in the presence of CONCACAF and UNCAF

After its spectacular performances at the Copa Centro Americana, the Belize National Football Team is getting ready for participation at the July Gold Cup in the United States. Belize will be playing against the powerhouses of the United States, Cuba and Costa Rica in three US cities. But on the ground here, the Football Federation of Belize says that while it is experiencing a turn-around in the sport, there are legal hurdles on the way. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

It has been a year since Dr. Bertie Chimilio was unseated as president of the Football Federation of Belize, effectively ending his multiyear control of the sport in the country.  Since then the F.F.B. has seen new leadership, as well as a significant improvement in the performance of our national team in regional competition.  On Saturday, the association held its Sixth Ordinary Congress, where it presented, before CONCACAF and UNCAF officials, its activity report for the previous calendar year, as well as a plan of action and budget for 2013.

 

Ruperto Vicente

Ruperto Vicente, President, Football Federation of Belize

“Weve been getting a lot of support.  The president of CONCACAF and UNCAF are really, really in support and they are happy with what is happening in the development of football in Belize, you know, and we are getting a lot of assistance.  As you have seen, the first line of help that has come from CONCACAF is that of the marketing experts whove come to develop that marketing strategy for us, you know, and to move our federation forward.  But there are also other assistance thats going to be coming through the federation, through CONCACAF, you know, thats yet to be announced.”

 

Present for the one-day conference were members of CONCACAF’s Marketing Development Program, who are in the process of assessing and assisting the FFB with its goals and strategies.

 

Julian Stanculescu

Julian Stanculescu, Head of Marketing Development, CONCACAF

“We were very surprised that so many initiatives have been started and they have been able to secure already, within the last few months, three sponsors and I understand that theres another big signing coming up soon.  So were very confident that the efforts will be very positive once we also reinforce a little bit from our side. We have just started with an assessment of the marketing program and communication done by the Football Federation of Belize and then going to the next stage where we are going to draft up a strategic plan that would be according to the goals and objectives of the Football Federation of Belize.  In the last phase we will do the implementation of the online platform which will be provided by CONCACAF but will be customized for the F.F.B.”

 

And while football in Belize is seeing a quantum leap of sorts, the actions of the previous administration are not soon going to be forgotten.

 

Ruperto Vicente

“Our federation has been robbed or had been robbed and those responsible are still moving around living as if though nothing has happened.  Let me assure you that, as the songwriter says, they will pay. We are still gathering the information necessary, you know, theres a lot of information that needs to be gathered Ruben and we are also, FIFA requires that we do intensive reporting on what has gone wrong.  Its going to take more than a year or two to gather all that information and send to FIFA.  So those people who have done football wrong, I dont want them to think that they are going to go scot-free with it, you know.  Somethings going to be done and they will have to pay.”

 

Ruben Morales-Iglesias

“Have you approached the courts already or is that down the road?”

 

Ruperto Vicente

“No, thats down the road.  Whos taking us to court right now is Mrs. Margaret Hulse, you know, for her contracts and there may be others who will take the Football Federation of Belize to court for the illegal contracts, we believe that those contracts were illegal and that they should not have been signed by the federation.”

 

Legal matters aside, the focus is on advancing Belize beyond the upcoming Gold Cup tournament.

 

Julian Stanculescu

“We expect that if everything goes well we should be hopefully seeing some results with the addition of one or two sponsors, maybe the increased level of exposure and also the fact that your national team will be in the Gold Cup could be a historical moment and a positive introduction.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

 

Recently the F.F.B. issued a financial report on the recent game against Trinidad’s Soca Warriors; it made a small profit of five thousand dollars and it needs five hundred thousand dollars to prepare the team for the Gold Cup. Vicente says they will be embarking on other friendly matches with the hope of meeting their target. 

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3 Responses for “Football congress in the presence of CONCACAF and UNCAF”

  1. Storm says:

    So far, so good. It looks like Coach Vicente is really making a difference, and the money is going where it should be going, to support the players and the team.

    Best wishes to our footballers when they compete against the Big Boys in the States! I have great faith in their commitment and skill.

  2. dulce says:

    well! its great to hear some good news about football in Belize and Belize need to have more international matches before they play in the Gold Cup and also host the friendly matches here in Belize to raise some more money.

  3. Bear says:

    Ruperto Vicente for Minister of Sports!

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