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Oct 29, 2019

U-18 Football Team Wins Silver at UNCAF Tournament

Belize’s under eighteen football team brought back silver from the Centro-American de Futbol (UNCAF for short) tournament.  The team played their hearts out, but in the end they lost the gold medal to powerhouse Costa Rica. But the second place finish is being celebrated as a big win for team Belize. The team arrived back in country on Monday evening and they were received in a celebratory welcome back reception at the Marion Jones Stadium. Reporter Andrea Polanco tells us more.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Belize’s U-18 Football team won the silver in the UNCAF under-eighteen tournament over the weekend. It was a spectacular finish for the young boys who went on the finals but missed out on the gold against host country, Costa Rica.

 

Ian Jones

Ian Jones, Director, National Sports Council

“You guys defeated teams that, I am pretty sure they fired their coaches after this tournament because nobody expects Belize to win.”

 

According to the F.F.B., their investment in the young players is paying off. They say the work that is put in at an early age will help to improve football in Belize at all levels.

 

Marlon Kuylen

Marlon Kuylen, Vice-President, F.F.B.

“We coined our slogan at the Federation is to believe in the process. Some people ask what the process is, well the process is to organize tournaments from the U-10, U-13, U-15, U-17; we send them abroad, to fly in the aircrafts to be in the big stadiums and to concentrate and focus on the job at hand which is to play football and to take Belize to the next level.”

 

Sergio Chuc

Sergio Chuc, President, F.F.B.

“The focus on the football federation is on the youth; that we want to lay a strong foundation so that we can compete regionally, not only participate. It is showing now, in less than two years that this new executive has been at the federation. We are actually bringing home the medals already at the youth level. Give us two, three, four more years and at the senior level we will bring home the medals, also.”

 

Minister of Sports Patrick Faber rewarded each of the athletes with small grants. The footballers, as well as U-13 volleyball players who won gold at the CODICADER Games were recognized for their outstanding performance in sports for Belize.

 

Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Minister of Sports

“We are supporting all of you who are not only athletes but also students by giving you a small financial grant to help with your educational journey because you have done so well for us and because we want you to stay in school as well because that is another piece of puzzle for your success and success for the nation. Because we have the perfect marriage of ministries, education and sports, I think we have to fix the U-17 one. We have to give them five instead of three and then we will give the younger boys three. Right? Good. (applause) So, we will adjust it.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.


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