The Belize Jaguars are preparing to play the third round of world cup qualifiers on September fourth and eighth. IT'S the furthest Belize has ever gone in the qualifiers - and the national team is playing its best football ever. But, it costs ten thousand a week just to keep them in camp, and hundreds of thousands of dollars to sponsor the team's travel and accommodations. The FFB can't just whisk that out of thin air, and Government chipped in today with 125 thousand dollars. We found out more at a handing over at FFB headquarters today:..

Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary
"The government was called upon and willingly stepped up from the funds basically to support the national team and to wish you well in the next round and the round after that and I think we can say that should there be another round and we all expect there will, that the government can come again and to say more is on its way as we progress down the line."

Michael Blease, FFB General Secretary
"Mr. Waight, on behalf of the federation, we want to thank the Government of Belize, your office, the Minister as well, the national team program - its a wonderful contribution. We expect more as Mr. Waight said as we progressed."

Courtney Weatherburne
"Sir, in terms of the handing over, would you be able outlined the use of these funds?"

Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary
"It's a grant to the FFB. Apparently there is needs, money for the training. I was told to keep them in training, it cost for housing and stipends and so could run as much as $10,000 per week and of course there is the travel itself - international travel. So, while it may sound like a lot of money, I imagine that they would need a lot more. It's not a cheap thing, but we have to put the money to try to help them."

Mike Rudon, Ch5
"Sir, you said it, $10,000 a week. Looking at three months until the next round; that one-twenty-five is gone…there will be no money to actually participate in that round. Is the government…you've made a commitment, but is that commitment specific in terms of a further allocation in terms of paying for these guys to go and play?"

Joseph Waight
"I know cabinet approved the money for this round with a promise that they would give if they go to the next round. Whether they will supplement this round, I cannot say."

Michael Blease, FFB General Secretary
"We have spent over four hundred thousand for the first two rounds and we know it is a lot of expense practicing, stipend for the players, feeding the players. Wherever this hundred and twenty-five will take us, it will be managed properly by our finance director and the national team committee and we definitely know that we will need more support. A hundred and twenty-five thousand is a great assistance to us, but we need so much more to continue the program even before we travel."

Courtney Weatherburne
"I know before there has been an issue with accountability. Will this money be accounted for in terms of the report - the expenditure report?"

Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary
"We expect that it would be. Every organization has it rules and regulations, but yes, we expect that... because in the future they will want again."

Courtney Weatherburne
"Would you give us an amount in terms of how much will be needed to cover all the expenses, in terms of accommodations and equipment and so forth?"

Michael Blease, FFB General Secretary
"The projected budget is $300,000 at least for this third round."

Mike Rudon, Ch5
"That includes the preparation, these weeks before the...?"

Michael Blease, FFB General Secretary
"Yes, the preparation, the traveling, the home game, the road game. We know we will have revenues coming back from the sale of tickets, but $125,000 from $300,000 leaves you... another $175,000 need to be raised and at this time we are still spending as we speak. Every day the team is in camp, we are spending."

Government's commitment to continue to assist is for the next round - if team Belize does reach there. At this point, they don't know who they will play in the third round, only that the first game will be on Friday September 4, 2015 and the second on Tuesday September 8, 2015.

Channel 7


F.F.B. Needs $300,000 for Third Round

A quarter million dollars sounds like a lot of money – and it is…but set against the backdrop of a national team in training, and against the costs associated with the individual rounds of competition – it’s not going to be enough. Still, it’s a significant amount of breathing room for the FFB, which can now use that free space to lobby for what they need to take the team through the third round.

Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

“It’s a grant to the F.F.B.  Apparently, there is needs; money for the training. I was told to keep them in the training, housing and stipends and so could run as much as ten thousand dollars per week and of course international travel, it can cost a lot of money. So while it might sound like a lot of money, I imagine that they would need a lot more. It is not a cheap thing, but we have to put the money into it to try to help them. The gate receipts and so won’t carry it by itself. Other countries put a lot of their own state resources behind sports; we have to do our share to the best of what we can.”

Mike Rudon

“Sir, you said it, ten thousand dollars a week. Looking at three months until the next round; that one-twenty-five is gone…there will be no money to participate in that round. Is the government…you’ve made a commitment, but is that commitment specific in terms of a further allocation in terms of paying for these guys to go and play?”

Joseph Waight

Joseph Waight

“I know cabinet approved the money for this round with a promise that they would give if they go to the next round. Whether they will supplement this round, I cannot say.”

Michael Blease, General Secretary, FFB

“We have spent over four hundred thousand for the first two rounds and it is a lot of expense practicing, stipend for the players, feeding the players. Wherever this hundred and twenty-five will take us, it will be managed properly by our finance director and the national team committee and we definitely know that we will need more support. A hundred and twenty-five thousand is a great assistance to us, but we need so much more to continue the program even before we travel.”

Michael Blease

Mike Rudon

“Sir, I get the feeling—it wasn’t stated—but I get the feeling that while there was a commitment, this is it for now. This is it through the third round, as far as I can see. How well the F.F.B. raise the money that it needs?”

Michael Blease

“Well we have our marketing team pushing as well as the minister through his own resources, is making contact with other private sector entities and business places. And we believe that we will receive the money. If not, the F.F.B. will have to find the resources to get the team through this round.”

The projected budget for the third round World Cup qualifier is just over three hundred thousand dollars.

Channel 5