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Aug 1, 2001

Ground broken on new football complex

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In ten months time footballers in Belize will finally have a place to call home. Although construction on the training complex started three weeks ago, it was not until today that ground was broken in ceremonies held in Belmopan. The buildings and fields will be situated along the Hummingbird Highway adjacent to the 4-H headquarters. The construction is being funded by FIFA under their Goal Project aimed at developing the sport in member countries. Bertie Chimilio, president of the Belize National Football Association, says while they had received many offers to host the complex in other parts of the country there were a number of reasons to locate it in Belmopan.

Bertie Chimilio, President, B.N.F.A.

“You know we have some land in Belize City and that would have meant filling in the land. FIFA was not prepared to fill the land and the speed of how they wanted the project to take off it would have been hard to get government’s support in such a short time to fill the land. So we decided the next place would be Belmopan. We had offers from Orange Walk, we spoke with minister Johnny Briceno and he had some forty-eight acres of land just in Orange Walk, but because of the government’s policy linking Belmopan with the rest of the country, already we know the Southern Highway is being constructed. There is a highway through the Southern Highway into San Ignacio. There is going to be a highway from Corozal directly to Belmopan so we don’t have to go through Belize City. So with that vision linking it with government’s plan we decided that this would be the best place to build the facility.

Here we are going to build a training facility. It will have two buildings, a kitchen, a dining room, four classrooms and two sets of dormitories. It will also have two football fields, one for training and one for seating and stadium like facilities.”

Jacqueline Woods

“Why do you believe this project is long overdue?”

Bertie Chimilio

“It’s long overdue because we as an association do not own fields. And because we have so limited fields in the country, when we want to do our programmes when we want to train our national team, if we don’t put our bidding to the Sports Council in time then our programmes suffer. Now with this we will be able to programme our activities and when it is to start it is to start we don’t have to go and ask anyone to use their facility we will have our own, we will have our home.”

Chimillo says the construction contract, which was awarded to Fabro Industries, was suppose to have started in March, but due to a number of factors the work started late. Nevertheless he says the B.N.F.A. is confident that by June of next year the training facility will be ready.


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