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Aug 2, 2011

FIFA Forces F.F.B. election in months to come

There is significant progress to report on tonight in football.  A delegation from FIFA concluded a second round of meetings with representatives from the Ministry of Sports and the Football Federation of Belize earlier this evening. The big news to come out of that meeting is that the embattled president of the F.F.B., Dr. Bertie Chimilio, will have to face new elections. Chimilio’s last election was shrouded in controversy and FIFA now agrees that he must be tested again in December when a number of other conditions, including a new constitution, should be put in place. During today’s meeting, it was also agreed that all parties will continue working closely together to resolve an ongoing dispute that has had the FFB and the National Sports Council at loggerheads for the past months.  The Belize team won Montserrat in a game played in Trinidad, but the return match was played in Honduras because of government’s refusal to provide security to the F.F.B. The results of the Honduras and Trinidad games against Montserrat will hold and Belize is already on roster against other teams leading up to the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. But for the team to move on, the government will also have to provide written assurance that it will not interfere in the F.F.B.’s operations.

Via Phone: Ismael ’Miley’ Garcia, National Sports Administrator

“Essentially what happened today is that based on the previous commitment that both parties had today what we spoke about was a road map on the way forward in resolving the current situation.”

Isani Cayetano

Ismael ’Miley’ Garcia

“Can you outline the road forward for us?”

Via Phone: Ismael ’Miley’ Garcia

“Okay. First of all, the first thing that was going to happen with the road map is that FIFA was supposed to send a delegation today and tomorrow which will work along with F.F.B. to finalize the draft of a FIFA-approved statutes with FIFA-approved electoral codes and that delegation was to meet with us which, of course, that happened today.  Secondly, the F.F.B. is being mandated to organize an extraordinary congress before the end of September 2011 to approve the new FIFA-confirmed statutes, approve the new FIFA-confirmed electoral codes and to elect an electoral commission and an electoral commission for Belize.  The F.F.B. must organize new elections managed by the newly elected electoral commission before the tenth of December, 2011.  In the mean time the electoral commission will ensure that the F.F.B. members have carried out statutes-confirmed elections for their members.  This means in the districts right, so as to ensure proper representation through these elections.  Also outlined in that is that the suspension of the F.F.B. by the FIFA committee is only lifted temporarily until the fifteenth of August so in order to allow Belize to participate in the next phase of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier FIFA will need a written commitment by the Government of Belize which will allow the F.F.B. to carry out its duties unimpeded during this process.  In other words the duties related to Belize’s participation in the other rounds and it says that is until December 2011 when the elections have been carried out and the entire process will be closely monitored by FIFA. FIFA recognizes the F.F.B. and its executive committee.  The F.F.B. because there new statutes are going to be, the draft will be finalized in the next few days and it will have to go up to FIFA to their legal division.  In the mean time the F.F.B. is not submitting a new application for registration until they have those statutes complete.  In the interim as you know, the games have been, the draw has taken place in Brazil and those games should be taking place in September.  From what we are looking at on this road map it seems that there is a favorable way forward.  There are sticking points that need to be worked out, the details of those will be ironed out between the Government of Belize and FIFA and I think that the way forward is clear leading up to the December tenth election on or before December tenth.”

The FIFA delegation included Rafael Tinoco of UNCAF and Stephanie MarkWalder, the Deputy Head of FIFA’s Corporate Legal Affairs Division.

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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