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Sep 16, 2011

Court settles football dispute between F.F.B. and Sports Ministry

Miley Garcia

In football news, there are twenty-four nations divided into six groups and only the top three CONCACAF teams are guaranteed to advance to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Belize’s first battle is in Group Five with Montserrat, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Guatemala. But while the team began preparation for the arduous journey, the National Sports Council and the Ministry of Sports did not recognize it as an official team. Belize, nonetheless, went on to win its first game against Montserrat only to find out that it could be suspended because of strained relations between the Football Federation of Belize (F.F.B.) and the government. That strain became a court battle while the team awaited game two against Montserrat. The F.F.B. filed an injunction against the National Sports Council and today Justice Minnet Hafiz quashed the application.  According to Miley Garcia, the National Sports Administrator, the proverbial game had changed and there was no longer any need for the court to be involved in the dialogue between the F.F.B. and the Sports Council.

Miley Garcia, National Sports Administrator

“The case was an injunction that was sought by the F.F.B. one to prohibit the National Sports Council from prohibiting them from using the facilities of National Sports Council. Second, it was an order prohibiting the minister from not recognizing the F.F.B. and the team having the authority to represent Belize at the national and international level as the association representing the national football in Belize and three; there was an order prohibiting the Commissioner of Police denying them use of the police force as security during the international match that was to be played against Montserrat in Belize.”

Jose Sanchez

“So the F.F.B. challenged all these orders and what was the result of the case?”

Miley Garcia

“Well it’s been a long time and many aspects of the case no longer have merit. The game has been played against Montserrat; a lot of it is water under the bridge. The judge dismissed the application by the F.F.B. and ordered them to pay the cost of correspondence and it was based on the fact that she felt that the way the application had been made for constitutional orders; the application was not properly made. The F.F.B. should have sought judicial review which would have given the opportunity for them to probably get an injunction.”

Jose Sanchez

“But at this point, the Sports Council, the Ministry of Sports and the F.F.B. are getting along—at least until December right?”

Miley Garcia

“Well yes that’s why I am saying the aspects of this case at this time no longer had merit. During this process FIFA has come to Belize and talked to the government of Belize and we’ve been in engaged. The F.F.B. has signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Sports Council and the government of Belize and the National Sports Council has agreed that in the interim, while the roadmap that has been developed by FIFA is in process; that the F.F.B. has access to facilities of national sports council. That is why the merits of the case are no longer warranted. And so we are moving along. The roadmap that was established when the representatives from FIFA came which involves the elections of new officers for all the members of F.F.B. that mean everyone in the football districts and also the BPFL. And at the conclusion of that process, the election of a new executive of F.F.B. there is also provision for the setting up of electoral commission and an electoral court for the F.F.B.  So we are satisfied that with all these things in place, the way forward should be set for the entire football family in Belize and for football.”

The F.F.B. and the Ministry of Sports have finally settled some of their differences and since that application was filed, Belize beat Grenada on September second and lost to Guatemala on the sixth.

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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1 Response for “Court settles football dispute between F.F.B. and Sports Ministry”

  1. CEO says:

    Will we ever get it right? Why the heck are we going to wait until it is time to play ball to start crap? I am sure we all knew what was going to happen. be proactive and solve the problem before it becomes a problem so we do not have to be embarrassed on the world scene. I think we need to get our house in order so this sort of crap does not happen again!

    Let’s build at least one stadium that FIFA accepts and field a national team; the best team possible (no politics). Pay them well and let them train hard! Belizeans are as tallented as any other country bar none!

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