The Premier League of Belize Belikin Cup was launched today. It's a little short notice because the season starts on Saturday. And, for the top league, it's two months later then the FIFA stipulated timeline. But, that's because it's hard to organize a season without money and the league has had been busy looking for a sponsor. They locked in Belikin and launched today. The sponsorship is worth eighty thousand dollars in cash and in kind, and today league organizers were jubilant at the partnership with the beer giant:...

Sergio Chuc - Senior Vice President, FFB
"We have a product here that is highly sought of - that the people of Belize are supporting it. We saw the country of Belize in the last couple months come together, everybody following the National A Team when we represented Belize at the Gold Cup. I think that for FFB to be strong we need a professional top league and that is why I am here asking to support for the top league of Belize."

"I see this as a wonderful marriage between Belikin and PLB and I could see it bearing a lot of fruits for both parties."

Hilly Martinez, Senior Executive - Bowen and Bowen
"When we got the proposal from the Premiere League there were two options and we decided to go with the second option which in our mind was better for the teams because in the first option the league would have had to get everything, so we felt that it was best that we assist the teams the best way possible."

"The assistant for the teams from our contribution during their home games would probably add up to about $6,000.00 per team at the end of the season. That would be the contributions to the teams and we've also agreed to sponsor the tournament in terms of $50,000 in cash which will be given to the Premier League of Belize to be used as prizes for the champion and sub-champion."

Jaime Perdomo, Commissioner - Premier League of Belize
"This is the first time the PLB has ever had a sponsor. Beside the prize money the budget that this League incurs for one tournament is around $75,000, so we are still at a shortfall of $25,000, so we might be coming asking for a little donation on you yet."

The league features seven teams: Police United FC, Belize Defence Force FC, which will play out of Dangriga this year, San Ignacio United FC, Paradise Freedom Fighters from Punta Gorda, FC Belize and Belmopan Bandits. Notably none of the teams are from the north after San Felipe Barcelona didn't make it into this tournament. Also, Placencia's team is will sit out while it looks for a sponsor. But the team that all eyes are on is Belmopan Bandits. That's the team owned by Police Minister John Saldivar and it's loaded with superstars. So much so, that Saldivar's club received special mention at today's press conference:...

Sergio Chuc - Senior Vice President, FFB
"The reason why I purposely miss bandits is because that is what everybody is talking about out there - the super team that the Minister has put together. I don't think they need that kind of coverage."

Hon. John Saldivar
"Commenting from the comment from Mr. Chuc - I think we added 2 players recently and I don't know if that makes us a super team. But certainly the team is very competitive and we do expect to win."

Jules Vasquez
"Are you the sponsor of this team?"

Hon. John Saldivar
"No, I don't know that I can say I have the wherewithal to sponsor. I am the owner and that's why we are still seeking sponsorship even as I speak from various business persons and organizations. Just like everybody else I have to look for sponsorship."

Jules Vasquez
"Are you doing this as a sports aficionado, an Area Representative or a businessman?"

Hon. John Saldivar
"I would want to think as all three."

The first game on Saturday is Police United FC versus Belize Defence Force FC to be played at the Isisdoro Beaton stadium in Belmopan.

Channel 7