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Jun 3, 2014

The Belize Jaguars still not paid for Gold Cup games

Belizean footballers who played for the national team at the Gold Cup one year ago have still not been paid in full, as contracted by the Football Federation of Belize. The team did not make it past the first round, but even before leaving for the United States, players signed a contract with the F.F.B. which guaranteed them five thousand dollars. That was a year ago, and the players claim that they have been paid only half of the amount committed. With the World Cup getting set to kick off in Brazil, we’ve been getting calls from players who are upset and concerned. They say that the F.F.B. executives will be travelling to Brazil, and the money used to fund that trip could be used to pay them. That was the allegation, and today we asked F.F.B. President, Ruperto Vicente, for clarification.

 

Ruperto Vicente, President, Football Federation of Belize

“We’re still owing these players. We intend to pay them and to give them their monies, but the Federation is strapped for cash so as soon as we get some monies we will be paying those players. As you are aware, we were forced to sign the contract with the players for monies that we know that we did not have and could not get right away. So as soon as we get those monies those players are going to be paid, because we intend to pay those players and our National Team Committee intends to pay those players their monies because they deserve to be paid.”

 

Reporter

Ruperto Vicente

“Can you give us an idea of what is owed to the players?”

 

Ruperto Vicente

“I think we’re still owing each one of them two thousand dollars. Each one of the players is still owed two thousand dollars and we intend to get those monies and give it to them.”

 

Reporter

“Sir that is not a huge amount of money! Has the Federation given any thought to maybe approaching government, the Ministry of Sports to ask for help? Because these players will need to go back and represent Belize…they were at the Gold Cup representing Belize.”

 

Ruperto Vicente

“Well it is our responsibility. It’s the Federation’s responsibility to take care of those players and to pay those players. You know, the government never signed a contract with them. It is the Federation which signed a contract with the players and so it is our responsibility to get the money to those players. We must get it to them.”

 

Reporter

“Those players who called were upset because they say members of the Executive will be travelling to Brazil for the World Cup using monies which could go to pay them. Could you confirm or deny that report?”

 

Ruperto Vicente

“No…FIFA pays for three executive members to travel to Brazil because we go for the Congress. We’re not going for the World Cup. So we get to see one game during the Congress, and so that’s what we’re going for. The Federation does not have any monies to pay for anybody to go to the World Cup. I know one Executive Member wished to have the Federation pay monies for him to go to the World Cup and the Executive has also decided that that cannot happen because we do not have that kind of money. You know it is expensive to get to the World Cup and it is expensive to even pay hotels for anybody. The Federation does not have that kind of money so we are not going to do that.”

 

Vicente says the F.F.B. is expecting an influx of funds, and hopes to clear all debts to players in the next month or two. We note that even though the Belize Jaguars is the National Team and represented the country at the Gold Cup, government doesn’t subsidize the F.F.B., which is funded solely by FIFA.

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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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