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Aug 31, 2022

Gianni Infantino, the President of FIFA, Meets With Government Officials and F.F.B. Management in Belize

Gianni Infantino, the President of FIFA, is in Belize. He has been in the country since Tuesday. Today, he called on government officials, as well as the staff at the Football Federation of Belize. It is the first time in recent history that a president of FIFA has visited the country. Infantino was greeted by children and their coaches on the soccer pitch during his visit to the F.F.B. Stadium. President Infantino and Sergio Chuc, the President of the Football Federation of Belize, held a press briefing at the location. News Five’s Paul Lopez was there and filed the following report.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Gianni Infantino, the President of FIFA, was in Belmopan today where he met with Governor General of Belize Froyla Tzalam, Acting Prime Minister Cordel Hyde, and the staff of the Football Federation of Belize.


Gianni Infantino

Gianni Infantino, President, FIFA

“It was a great pleasure for me to be here and thanks for being here as well, because it is important that we promote and speak about the fantastic job that is done here in Belize by President Sergio and his whole and his whole team at the federation with the help and the support of the government, as well as the minister being here as well.”


In 2020, the Football Federation of Belize broke ground for construction work to begin on the upgrade of its stadium in Belmopan. This upgrade was made possible by a two million dollar investment from the international soccer governing body under its FIFA Forward program. Today, President Infantino praised the progress that has been made on the stadium.


Gianni Infantino

“I have been visiting the last few years over a hundred and sixty countries around the world and I can tell you that this infrastructure here is already much much better than any other places in the world. So, thank you very much and we keep and working on that path and we will invest even more.”


Sergio Chuc

Sergio Chuc, President, F.F.B.

“Right now the focus is completing this one. We are three quarter way complete, because we need the parking, we need the shed, we need the VIP, and we still need another training pitch to the pack. In Central America all the national teams play on grass pitch. We can’t have the national team playing strictly on a synthetic pitch and then go to play on a grass pitch in Salvador. So, we need to fix our pitches we have here. So we have a little more work to complete the center fully and then we look at other projects in other areas around the country, where the investment will go the longest way, maybe Belize City where that is the most populated area.”


And, more recently, Belize was one of fourteen nations selected from over two hundred countries to adopt the FIFA Football for Schools program. President Infantino conceded that the sport of football is overdeveloped in some parts of the world.  In countries like Belize, for instance, there is greater need for player development before national teams can compete at higher levels like the World Cup.


Gianni Infantino

“We believe that in a country like Belize there is an incredible talent which is naturally here. What we need to focus on is how we can help Belize football to bring together this talent, to spot it, to bring it together, to develop it, so that you can have sporting results, but at the same time in any case show to the public and the people the exemplary function of football. So, together with the federation we analyze all that, we develop strategies on how spot young talents and we help building, we put at disposal the funds and they build the infrastructures.”


President Gianni Infantino has confirmed that he will stand for re-election in 2023. Before his stop in Belize, he visited neighboring Guatemala and several other Central American countries. His tour is viewed by some as a campaign strategy to gain support for his bid.  Well, President Infantino does not have to worry about where Belize stands, because F.F.B. President Sergio Chuc publicly declared his support today.


Sergio Chuc

“Let me say, he doesn’t have to worry about Belize, because when I took over at the first summit we had in Hong Kong, the panel was there discussing who the funds would be best suited for the developing countries. Initially FIFA has proposed that the operational funds be half a million dollars and the project funds be three quarter million dollars. We sat down in the group and discussed it and said the operation is more important. So we lobbied for a higher operation fund. The committee looked at it, took our recommendation from Belize. Next thing, they reversed it and the operation funds became higher than the project funds. So, he is about listening to us and developing the countries that need it more. So, I have absolutely no reservations pledging again my support.”


Gianni Infantino

“Even if I wouldn’t have come?”


Sergio Chuc

“Well, you know I already sent you the nomination letter. I already nominated him, because I believe in what he is doing and he has been more than good to us. And, I am happy that he is pleased with the way how we are using the funds.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.

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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