The jury is still out on the problems within the BAAA, but another organization known for its recent tribulation, is currently having a great month. With elections underway at the district level and better ties with the Ministry of Sports, the Football Federation of Belize (F.F.B.) is ready for the next international football match, which leads to the World Cup. Three thousand fans are expected to attend Friday afternoon’s game between the national teams of Belize and Grenada at the F.F.B. stadium in Belmopan. F.F.B.’s Senior Vice President, Bernaldino Pech gave further details on the game, which may actually be tougher than the previous game that Belize won against the island nation.
Bernaldino Pech, Senior Vice President, F.F.B.
“This series we’ve played two games already—we’ve won one and we lost one. It’s game time again tomorrow. We play Grenada again on the return match here. We had beaten Grenada three to nil in Grenada and so we expect that our boys will certainly prevail. Now we can’t be overconfident; our boys know that. They know that the game still has to be played. And from what we understand, Grenada is also bringing reinforcements; I understand they are bringing in some overseas base players. So we expect a good game tomorrow. However I believe our coaching staff has a good game plan and our boys will prevail.”
“When you mentioned that Grenada is bringing overseas players, how experienced are they? Are they going to be a threat?”
“Well we need to bear in mind that Grenada was a Caribbean team that went to the Gold Cup recently, so they do have players that are high caliber players. When we played in Grenada, it was mostly local based players that they used to play us. However, they know they are in a deep hole—they are last in the group at this point in time having lost both games—and so we know that they are coming here to exact revenge on us. So my understanding is that they are bringing in some British based players and also a couple of MLS based players as well. So we expect that it will probably not be the same Grenada team that we played last month, but nevertheless, we know that our team can stand up to that match up. And we expect a good game and we ask all Belizeans to come out and support our national team. We played our first home game last month in quite a long time and we have a second one coming up tomorrow and we know that Belizeans want to see our national team successful. We know Belizeans saw the caliber of play that our team is capable of—narrowly defeated by Guatemala last month—and so we expect that fans are hungry for a victory and they want to cheer on our boys in home victory.”
Game time is at three-thirty in the afternoon and prices are thirty dollars for today only. However, tickets go up by ten dollars on Friday and will exclusively be sold at Yiim Saan Restaurant in Belmopan. But if you are unable to attend, you can still blow on your vuvuzela in your living room while watching the live match on Channel Five.
John Saldivar and FIFA’s Positive words on National Team
Earlier in the newscast you heard from the F.F.B. about the expectations and challenges for Friday’s live game. But it seems that the recent games that Belize has won in football are not only being noticed at home. An article posted on FIFA’s website says “Contenders in the CONCACAF region no longer scoff at tiny Belize. … the Central American minnows have been improving rapidly of late and look potential candidates for a spot in the second group in North, Central American and the Caribbean’s qualifying quest for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil…The glut of impressive recent results has seen the Belizeans… scamper up the FIFA/Coca-Cola world ranking. They moved up fourteen places in the world pecking order last month and currently occupy one hundred and thirty-fourth in the world and eighteenth in the CONCACAF zone, their highest-ever ranking.” The Minister of Sports John Saldivar says he will Chair the cheering section at the game.
John Saldivar, Minister of Sports
“Well I think we all feel very good about the chances of our national team, now that a lot of things have been cleared up and the entire country is behind our team, we’re saying “Go Belize, we’re with you.”
“Any predictions as to the scores?”
“Well I would at least want the same three one score nuh. We need to make as much as we can should in case we get down to goal average in terms of moving on nuh.”
“So Minister, next week they have an even bigger match against our neighbors Guatemala. Do you think that a win tomorrow will maybe give them the momentum that they need for next week’s game?”
“Well my understanding as to the format of the tournament is we must win tomorrow inorder to have any chance of moving forward. So we have to win tomorrow, then go to Guatemala and take care of business there. But I am very confident because they have been working out very hard and we have some talented fellows. I feel good about our chances tomorrow as well as Tuesday in Guatemala.”