President of the Football Federation of Belize Mr. Ruperto Vicente wrote a letter last week to Chairman of the National Sports to share his disapproval of hosting the Digicell Tenth Anniversary concert with Bennie man and other Caribbean artist on the pitch of the MCC grounds. Despite his concerns though, the event was carried out as planned and now football supporters are not happy with the condition of the grounds.  Plusnews spoke with Vicente who told us about his concern. 

President FFB, RUPERTO VICENNRE:
I need to make it clear that our concerns have to do with of going against the use of the MCC grounds for any other activities or for any concert.  Our concern is about the use of the pitch of the MCC grounds for concerts and other activities that can damage the surface of pitch on which our players play football.  We must understand that the pitch at the MCC grounds is [good pitch] for our young players, and using it for any [other activity] is endangering the welfare of our young players.  

Yaya Marin took up the cause and hours before the concert on Friday night, she began a one-woman 24HR protest against the concert. Some minutes later, she was joined by FFB president, Ruperto Vicente. Ruperto told us about the condition of the field before and after the event. 

President FFB, RUPERTO VICENNRE:
Even though the pitch was not in the best of condition, but it was a pitch that could have been used by young players to play football.  At the state of which it is now, it wall be difficult for our players to get to play on it, because the surface has been damaged, as the grass is no longer there.  There is large holes on the pitch.  In fact on Friday there were so many tents placed on that pitch, and pegs driven  into the ground, creating holes on the pitch that can be dangerous to our players when they are playing football,  We need to get this cleared.  The state at which the pitch was, and where it is now, it is out of control.  It is outrageous. It's in a terrible condition.

And while only two rallied for the concert to be cancelled, Vicente says that his stance on the matter remains the same and that the Sports Council or promoter needs to take responsibility. 

President FFB, RUPERTO VICENNRE:

I hope that the National Sports Council will take on the responsibility, or the people who have the contract on the pitch would take on the responsibility now of repairing that pitch for our young players.  Because of it I cannot put any dollar value to it now, but it will cost some dollars to get it back to where it was, and even better. My next step from here is to seek a dialogue with the National Sports Council, and the Minister of Sports, to see how best we can protect the pitch at the MCC grounds. And we protect it by not allowing activities, such as the concert that was held last weekend to be held on it, or any other [activity] that's going to damage it.  There are other areas at the MCC ground that can be used for any such activities, it doesn't have to be on the pitch. We do not want it on the pitch, and that's the kind of conversation, dialogue, and exchange that I am going to have with the council and the Minister of Sports. 

Vicente told us that this is the second time that an event of this sort has been held on the pitch at the MCC grounds despite the FFB’s disapproval.

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