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Jan 14, 2008

What’s up with Belize playing home match in Guatemala?

Story PictureGood evening I’m James Adderley and you’re certainly welcome to this delivery of Sports Monday. With league leader Wagiya of Dangriga idle over the weekend, Hankook Verdes of Cayo looked to make up some ground as it faced Santels in the San Ignacio derby yesterday on week sixteen of the RFG Insurance Football Cup Tournament. And they quickly make their intentions known off this set piece that Shamir Pacheco fails to put enough power on. Santels who come in in the bottom half of the standings also makes it plain that today they are in it to win it when Trevor Lennon tries to squeeze the pill inside the far post. At the other end this left foot bomb from Hankook’s Humberto Requena sails a bit too high. For clarity’s sake we must inform that the half time whistle brings an end to a rather lethargic first half. Second half promised to be different when Shamir Pacheco centers into the danger zone and both Orlando Jimenez and Everal Gabourel become victimized by stalwart Santels defense. This is in the opening minutes of the half. It’s more … it’s more Hankook excitement when Gabourel sets table for Daniel Jimenez who should have done better with this chance. Santels then summons some offense by going to Trevor Lennon who tries to beat the keeper low – Lincoln Wiltshire is then prevented from launching a second strike. On this Verdes drive its Everal Gabourel trying to beat Elias Pelayo high – but the goal keeper reads. The pressure increases off this corner kick that Daniel Jimenez tries to bury but he fails to hit the target. Jose Monroy presents danger with this right foot punch that misses the V by mere inches. It’s getting late now and Verdes needs all three points, so Orlando Jimenez fires this spot kick at Elias Pelayo who most certainly comes up with a huge save for Santels. Now check this corner kick people – Orlando Jimenez could give Hankook the lead with this header but he gets not enough on it. Santels hold Verdes to a scoreless draw.

In other action around the league: Georgetown Ibayani shocked Suga Boys Juventus 3-2. San Pedro Dolphins and the B.D.F. battled to a goalless stalemate, while FC Belize shot down Revolutionary Conquerors 2-1. Meanwhile, the one point draw gave Verdes 23 points which ties Wagiya’s total and the west is the leader of the pack going into week seventeen on goal differential. F.C. Belize has 21 points; the B.D.F. and Georgetown Ibayani 19 points a piece, San Pedro 18, Santels 14, Juventus 13 and Revolutionary Conquerors continue to dominate the cellar with 11 points.

Turning to the Super League of Belize week eleven results show that Forever Strong Kraal Road bombed Belmopan Bandits 4-nothing, Estrellas F.C. blanked Barrio Fino 2-zip, Benque D.C. United mashed up Roots F.C. 3-nothing and those are the three ball—wait we have one more people—Alpha Barcelona took down the undefeated Texmar Boys 1-zip and that is big time news. Texmar Boys have finally fallen. They fell to Alpha Barcelona yesterday inside the People’s Stadium and that’s big news.

Turning to this weekend’s schedule: Belmopan Bandits takes on Texmar Boys and Forever Strong Kraal Road will see action against Roots F.C; that’s at the M.C.C. Grounds. Barrio Fino goes up against Alpha Barcelona at the Norman Broaster Stadium and at the Toledo Union Field Sunday, Estrellas F.C. plays host to Benque D.C. United.

Let me just ask you a rhetorical question people. Now that we have two semi-pro leagues competing for the very same players and the very same funding; is it really good for Belizean football? Think about it. We must also mention at this time that the National football team of Belize will play its warm up international against the national team of El Salvador at the M.C.C. Grounds five-thirty p.m. on January twenty-third. Belize then plays its qualifying World Cup match against St. Kitts at the Mateo Flores Stadium three p.m. Wednesday, February sixth inside Guatemala. The return match is set for March twenty sixth at St. Kitts. People, we must express our indignation that Belizean football plays its home match in the very nation that claims our territory. Facing this Guatemalan intransigence on this matter, we asked Dr. Bertie Chimilio if he felt right allowing Belize to play the home game inside Guatemala.

Dr. Bertie Chimilio, President, F.F.B.
“We’ve been cumbering for ten years now for a facility in this country. So I think people should put the blame where the blame should be. Secondly, in arriving at this decision, we did not take into account any practical issue. As you know, sports transcends politics. The North Koreans play in South Korea and vice versa. You have the Palestinians playing in Israel and vice versa. So in sports we don’t look at politics. We know that it was gonna be very very hard, people were gonna react to it. I’m very surprised people reacted this hard to it. When … just that nobody, nobody supports the national financially, nobody comes up here and sees the players training, nobody comes and see how they are living, how we are taking care of them. As we speak right now the Estadio Nacional de Tegucigalpa is being refurbished for five million dollars, El Salvador plays its game against Anguilla on the sixth. The Mexicans said that the Chetumal Stadium is not up for a FIFA game but I believe they really don’t want the responsibility of any game being played on their territory as long as it’s not their games. We wanted to play the two games in St. Kitts but there was no benefit of playing it there. We consulted with the player and the players said we don’t want a repeat of Canada. We want to play on grounds that we know and they know the Mateo Flores. Ninety-five percent of the players know the Mateo Flores so politics was not taken into account and now to try and mix this with politics is something very strange.”

James Adderley
“Is this decision irreversible?”

Dr. Bertie Chimilio
“It is irreversible at this point because FIFA has been informed, the teams have been informed, the referees have been set, there’s no other field at this present moment we could play with.”

James Adderley
“What’s the feeling on the national team knowing that Guatemala has been intransigent, has been hawkish in terms of our territory? What’s their feeling of playing—the symbolism of playing a home game in a hostile land?”

Dr. Bertie Chimilio
“Well James, I could tell you right now we are preparing to go to the Mountain Pine Ridge for high altitude training and we have twenty-five players in camp. That does not include the foreigners that we have playing abroad. So I’m telling you in sports we don’t play politics. And those who have a political agenda and those who have radio stations and TV stations that broadcast for the politicians parties, let them do that. Stay out of the sports man. The national team needs your support. So as far as we are concerned we gonna play a game we wish we could have played at home but we can’t play home.”

Moving on people, we turn to the cycling scene, the M&M Tour 2008 blasts off on February thirteenth and the deadline for registration is January fifteenth. That’s tomorrow people. Seventeen teams have shown interest including six local teams, five U.S. based teams, two Canadian teams, one Nicaraguan, one Guatemalan, one Mexican and one Swiss team. Teams must be comprised of a minimum of six and a maximum of nine riders. Official launch is set for Tuesday, February Twelfth at the San Cas Plaza. It’s big you won’t want to miss it so stay tuned.

Before we go we certainly want to give a shout out to former goal keeping great, Michael Recinos and his lovely mom Dora, both living in Pennsylvania, U.S.A. take care of business. That’s it for now though. We invite you back same time same place next week. Jah over all. I’m. James Adderley.

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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