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#433229 03/17/12 07:57 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
OP Offline
For much of last year, there was an epic power struggle between the Ministry of Sports on one side and the Football Federation of Belize on the other.

The Ministry played hardball with the unflappable FFB President Bertie Chimilio - at one point threatening to decertify the most powerful Federation in the land, even saying that it could not outfit a legitimate National Football Selection. It got so bad that a World Cup Qualifier on Belizean soil had to be cancelled - after the visiting team had already arrived - because the government would not allow the police to be used for security.

That caused an international incident - which is just what the Ministry wanted - to get the attention of the FIFA Bosses in Switzerland. And they did, with FIFA agreeing to a new election and laying out a precise road map which would certify a legitimate, democratic election.

And after many months of jostling, the big event was held last night: Elections for the Executive Committee of the Football Federation of Belize at an Ordinary Congress - all strictly supervised by FIFA officials - and the most important element being that district delegates got to vote by secret ballot.

Our news team went to Belmopan to chronicle this event; yes they were made to wait outside until midnight - and yes, they didn't get back to the City until 1:30 am - but to be near to history, it was all worth it. Here's the story:..

Jules Vasquez reporting
The FIFA representatives arrived at the meeting with no time to spare.

Marco Leal, FIFA Member Assoc. Dept.
"I am here merely as an observer to make sure that everything goes according to the statutes and to the regulations."

Indeed, it would be the first election to be held under such strict auspices but the media was not allowed inside. All we could do was watch movement at the door.

After about 5 hours of waiting, the first person we got to talk to was Miley Garcia who had a smile glued to his face. That spelt bad news for Chimilio, as he was the point-man for the former Minister of Sports John Saldivar who forced the new elections and approved the roadmap that led to the election new district executives, all building up to this moment.

Ismael Miley Garcia - Operator
"Gentlemen, it's been a long evening. I think the results are in now. We understand a new executive has been elected for the FFB. I think for the sport of football it's been a winning night. It's been a winning night because finally a person that was put in place by the Hon. John Saldivar, the former minister of sports, which took over a year, has finally come to fruition."

"Tonight, all the 7 football districts and the Premiere Football League of Belize had a chance to vote and to truly elect and executive that they want. I think that is the most wonderful achievement for tonight. I think football has won tonight."

Finally at about 11:15, we were let into the Headquarters by the new President - the first new one in 14 years - and he was conciliatory.

Ruperto Vicente - FFB President
"First of all I want to say to all of us that this is not a victory for me, it is a victory for football in Belize. We promise to work extremely hard to improve the sports that we have grown to love."

"It's been over a decade since we've had another president. What would you do differently and what would you do the same?"

Ruperto Vicente - FFB President
"We want to unite the football family. We want to involve everyone in the development of our sports and certainly 1 or 5 persons cannot do the job that is required to improve football in this country."

"What would be your first order of business?"

Ruperto Vicente - FFB President
"Our first order of business to improving football is first of all is to come up with a strategic plan for football. We do not have strategic plan."

FIFA's reps approved of the election.

Marco Leal, FIFA Member Assoc. Dept.
"In general I think the election was carried according to the statutes, that is important. To answer you second question; we are looking forward to the development for football in Belize and we hope that this new executive committee, like the last one, also invest a lot in new talent in the development of football and the game."

"FIFA fully supports any democratic elected committee. Like I said the election was carried out in accordance with the statutes. The assembly has declared who the winner is, they have decided who the winner is and FIFA supports any committee or any official that is duly elected in accordance with their statutes."

And that brings us to Dr. Bertie Chimilio - who lost the first election which was guided by a FIFA roadmap every step of the way. He was circumspect:

Dr. Bertie Chimilio, FFB President, 1998 - 2012
"Life moves on."

"So, what's next for you Dr. Chimilio?"

Dr. Bertie Chimilio
"I'm still a part several committees in CONCACAF and FIFA. I have left to see if they want to keep me there. I hold my head up high along with my team because it wasn't me alone. We did what we have to do for the benefit for football in Belize. Let's see if somebody else can do that. It will take time for them to really deliver because they have to work hard now."

"Mr. Vicente says that, it's not the party, but he will look into the finances to see if any wrong doings have been done. Is there anything there that he can find that may not been above board."

Dr. Bertie Chimilio
"It's not about finances; football is far more than finances. So obviously he has already started off on the wrong foot if he comes with that because then you first have to plan your football work and then you look for the finances. So if the finances are what he is after then to me it's a big joke. We have to look forward to a football going down if that is what he will say. Instead of him talking about the youths, of women's competition, of the national team, infrastructural development, marketing and communications, he goes straight to the money." "There are priorities set by for FIFA to use the money, so it's going to be a process for them too."

"I am not just walking away, they have to learn because I dint think they know the intricacies of this. There is going to be a lot of work for them."

Daniel Ortiz
"What role will Mr. Chimilio take as the former president of the federation?"

Ruperto Vicente - FFB President
"We have yet to look at that. We are going to sit and evaluate all of that before we decide what we are going to do with Dr. Chimilio."

Sergio Chuc, Senior VP
"I am happy that he has said that he wants to help. We will discuss it with the president and if the president says that we will accept his help then we will accept his help."

Dr. Bertie Chimilio
"It's not like the government, there is going to be an evaluation period and if they pass that then hopefully they can do better than I did."

"It's the end of a career. It's the end of someone who dedicated his life to the game at the expense of family and friends but nonetheless let's see what these guys can do."

Last night's newly elected executive is as follows: Ruperto Vicente for President, Sergio Chuc for Senior Vice President, Rawell Pelayo for Vice President, and Cruz Gamez and Marlon Kuylen for the 2 final elected members.

Channel 7

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
OP Offline
Free at last!! Bertie gone! Ruperto new FFB president!

Reliable reports just received from our contacts at the FFB headquarters in Belmopan, where elections were held earlier tonight for the FFB executive, are that the incumbents, led by Dr. Bertie Chimilio, who has been president since 1998, have all been voted out. The new FFB executive is: President - Ruperto Vicente; Senior Vice-President - Sergio Chuc; Vice-President - Rawell Pelayo; Members - Marlon Kuylen; Cruz Gamez.

The Reporter

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