World Cup Qualifier Cancelled

There's huge news tonight in National Football: The World Governing body for football has suspended the Football Federation of Belize. It is a direct result of what Sports Minister John Saldivar said on this newscast last night about not allowing the police department to provide security for the game against Montserrat in Belmopan on Sunday.

FIFA has concluded that the Government is meddling in football affairs, which is strictly prohibited under FIFA statutes, thus the ban. The ban means that Sunday's game has been postponed.

We'll have the full statement from FIFA shortly but we begin tonight's coverage of this very significant issue at the international airport.

That's where the national selection returned from Montserrat to discover that Sunday's return match has been postponed. Here's what the team's reaction was:

Jules Vasquez Reporting
They won five two in Montserrat. But even with that and the flag on their practice jersey, the national football selection returned to an anonymous homecoming - but more than that, their return was complicated by some very bad news:

Ian Gaynair, Defence
"Well as I reach I get in a million text messages saying that we get suspended."

Shane Orio, Goalkeeper/Captain
"Our dreams, our goals and aspiration - it's amazing, it's unbelievable."

Which meant that Sunday's game - which the Montserrat team arrived for - won't be played. It's a major embarrassment and a logistical nightmare, but the Montserratians didn't want to comment. Their hosts though, confess great shame:

Ian Gaynair, Defence
"We have a lot of shame face right now when we first hear it. I think that some of the guys are in there crying right now."

And the tears - they say are for dreams deferred:

Shane Orio, Goalkeeper/Captain
"I think kits unfair that people that we elected to provide opportunities for us; for our dreams now are the same people that today took away our dreams, our aspiration."

Ian Gaynair, Defence
"I get cold seed and eye water in my eyes but what else can we do? It looks like our future is done. It looks like it will be a new generation because our career is done now."

Deon Macauley, striker
"To tell you the truth I don't know what to say because I don't really want to get into that next world because that does not concern me. My job as a player is to go out there and to represent my country, put my foot down and do what I have to do out there to make my country look good - to build up this country in football."

Shane Orio, Goalkeeper/Captain "To practically to not advance you would have to lose 4-0 and again the only way to not advance is by doing what the government did that's why I say it's unbelievable because the only way that we could not advance is by suspension."

Ian Gaynair, Defence
"I think this was the greatest opportunity in football for Belize. We already had one foot in to advance to the next round. This is the round of 16 that a lot of things could have happen for us and they just take it away."

Shane Orio, Goalkeeper/Captain
Minister Saldivar is behind his desk right now in Belmopan smiling right now because the target is Dr. Chimilio. But at the end of the day he did not affect Dr. Chimilio because Dr. Chimilio is still a part of FIFA. He affected us the Belizean players and Belizean that are from here - grass roots Belizeans."

Channel 7