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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Newly elected Football Federation of Belize (FFB) President Ruperto Vicente said tonight that the picture doesn't look good from what he has seen so far of the FFB account.

Following the FFB Executive elections last Thursday night, which was observed by representatives from FIFA, arrangements were reportedly made for an early handover to the new administration.

Of primary concern, despite the televised remarks of outgoing President Bertie Chimilio, who minimized the importance of money to the running of football, is the state of the FFB finances, considering the significant reported contributions by FIFA.

For the last decade plus, FIFA, through its FAP (Football Assistance Program) program has given an annual disbursement of Bze $500,000.00 to the FFB; and in addition to that, it has funded various projects, seminars and development programs under the FFB.

Of particular note, is that FIFA reported in its annual congress just this past June, that it had given each member national association a special bonus from World Cup 2010 profits, amounting to an additional total of US $550,000.00, or Bze $1,100,000.00.

For the past three years, the national champions, Belize Defence Force, has been unable to represent Belize in the CONCACAF Champions League tournament reportedly because of inadequacies in the lighting facilities at the FFB Stadium.

If the money was not spent on lighting and stadium upgrade (the FFB Stadium and headquarters in Belmopan were all paid for with separate monies allocated by FIFA), then there should be major funds lying idle in the FFB account.

But, according to what Vicente told us tonight, when he visited Scotiabank he was shocked to learn that the FFB account there has barely a thousand dollars in it. Vicente said that all FIFA funds to the FFB are sent through Scotiabank, where the main FFB account has been located.

He said his executive is in the process of writing all the other local banks to determine if there are any other FFB accounts.

There is a meeting scheduled for tomorrow with the outgoing President, Dr. Bertie Chimilio, and Vicente promised to update us on the situation.


Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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FFB Broke, Can't Meet Payroll

Ruperto Vicente took over the FFB 10 days ago after Bertie Chimilio ran it for 14 years. As you might be able to imagine, it was a major transition - but nothing could have prepared Vicente to meet only a thousand dollars in the bank account of the richest sports federation in the country.

Today, at his first press conference, he told the media that the Federation is broke and cannot meet its payroll commitments:..

Ruperto Vicente, President FFB
"I want to say to us today that the dark days are over for football. So today I am happy to say to you that this is a new day in football."

And with that dramatic pronouncement FFB President Ruperto Vicente told an audience of football lifers about the FFB's grim current state of affairs and his optimism for the future.

Ruperto Vicente, President FFB
"For the first time in 14 years we are changing the face of football. It will no longer be controlled and managed by 2 persons."

Each member of his executive will be responsible for a portfolio - and one of the key emphases going forward is female football

Ruperto Vicente, President FFB
"We are going to develop female football. FIFA requires that every federation must have tournaments for females and we must develop our female players."

There are also plans to develop coaching, refereeing and youth football:

Ruperto Vicente, President FFB
"Many of our young people that are playing football today are playing football simply because they like the sports of football. It's not because they are trained to play football."

And while there are plans aplenty, all these have to be tempered by the grim reality that the FFB - the governing body for football in Belize - is flat broke:

Ruperto Vicente, President FFB
"I want you all to know that at this moment the federation is broke. There is no money, and I must clear that up with you. The federation does not have any monies."

"Last year the federation received from FIFA to finance its programs $1.8 million dollars. That's the amount of money we received last year. All that money is gone. We no longer have any monies."

So broke the FFB cannot meet payroll:

Ruperto Vicente, President FFB
"When we say we are broke, there are no monies. We have checked with the account at Scotia Bank and there is only $1,000 in that account. Presently for the staff, we have a payroll of $13,000 per month that we must meet. There are no monies for that. The staff at the federation is heavily paid."

"We do not have monies presently to meet that salary budget. Yes FIFA will be sending some money this week. We are hoping that when we get those monies we will be able to pay our staff."

"We are in a difficult situation because the past administration signed a contract with those individuals. Our legal team is now reviewing those contracts. It's going to be difficult for us at this point until we are advised by our legal team to remove those from the federation as employees."

So this entity which gets a subvention from FIFA of half a million Belize dollars a year has one thousand Belize dollars in the bank - and also they don't have any financial records to show how the money was spent:

Ruperto Vicente, President FFB
"We don't have anything at the Football Federation of Belize. We do not have anything in terms of financing or financials, so we have to start from scratch. We don't have anything."

But despite that, they are not going after past 14 year president Bertie Chimilio.

Ruperto Vicente, President FFB
"We are not going to spend time investigating Dr. Chimilio. That is not our mandate."

Instead, the FFB is moving on - but will need the Football family to bear patience:

Ruperto Vicente, President FFB
"We have a tremendous task, and we ask all our supporters, all our people, and all our friends to be patient. This is not going to happen overnight. We are starting all over."

A few notes. Vicente will set up a Commission of Inquiry to, quote, "look at irregularities that may exist."

Second, the FFB is waiting on an audit which past-president Chimilio was supposed to hand in last Friday. FIFA is also waiting on that audit.

Third, a team from UNCAF is supposed to arrive in April to help the FFB executive map out a way forward.

Channel 7

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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Football Federation of Belize is broke. Weh di money deh?

There’s no money in the bank account of the Football Federation of Belize. Its new president, Ruperto Vicente made that statement at the first press conference since Dr. Bertie Chimilio was ousted after fourteen years as president. Vicente has not met with Chimilio since the election but he says that his executive is waiting for the 2011 audit report. That report should explain why the federation is broke even though it received over one hundred thousand dollars for the New Year. Vicente was flanked by his new executive when he told the media that despite the financial shortcomings, the executive will not go on a witch hunt to find out what happened with the finances.


Ruperto Vicente, President, F.F.B.

Ruperto Vicente

"When we say we are broke, there is no money. We had checked at the accounts at the Scotia Bank and there is only a thousand dollars in that account. Presently for the staff, we have a budget or a payroll of thirteen thousand dollars per month that we must meet and there is no money for that. The staff at the federation are heavily paid. So we do not have monies presently to meet that salary budget. Yes FIFA will be sending some money this week. The FIFA subvention is two hundred and fifty thousand U.S. dollars per year which equals to close to five hundred thousand Belize dollars for the year. Out of that for this year, we only have four hundred thousand dollars because the past administration had requested an advance of a hundred thousand dollars. We have to request those funds every three months. We do not have anything to start with and that is the reason I said we are not going to embark on a witch-hunt, we are not going to spend our energy looking for those things; we are going to start and develop our sports. Football is not going to be properly improved if we do not have a strategic plan. Football needs a strategic plan so we are going to be embarking on that. Nobody is going to invest in football if we do not present them with a strategic plan; where we are going. So we are going to come up with a plan for the next five years."


Vicente says that a committee will be appointed to regularly review the finances of the F.F.B.

Channel 5

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