In speaking with the new general secretary, News Five learnt that the temporary position that Jones now holds will see him streamlining the functions of the F.F.B., particularly as it relates to the various leagues.

Earl Jones, Interim General Secretary, F.F.B.

“My present position with F.F.B. is that I have been asked to take over as the General Secretary of the F.F.B. on a temporary basis.”

Isani Cayetano

“You’re coming in at a rather critical time for football in Belize and the organization of football.  Is there anything that you are bringing to the table at this point to either kind of calm things down in terms of the day-to-day administration of football?”

Earl Jones

“I know it’s a turbulent time for the federation; however, what I plan to do is to look at what are some of the concerns that the different leagues might be having.  What are some of the concerns that we are having within the staff and to see how best we can move forward by addressing these issues, right.  As the president had mentioned earlier, there are many things, we have to streamline the operation, we have to streamline what we are doing at the F.F.B. office and to ensure that staff are doing what they are supposed to be doing.  So this is one of the main issues, my first priority is to sit down with my staff and do a proper evaluation of their terms of reference and what they are actually doing and to see how we go forward with them.”

Isani Cayetano

“Now you’re here on an interim basis which means that if an extraordinary congress is called any time soon and there’s another regime change that means you wouldn’t have had enough time to implement whatever changes you would have wanted to see get done in the F.F.B.  Are you prepared for these kinds of challenges seeing as though it is all on a pro tempore basis, so to speak?”

Earl Jones

“Yes, I might not be here.  Probably next month there is a congress that is called and I will be asked or I will be replaced, but I’m prepared for that.  But in the interim, in the meanwhile I am prepared to do proper evaluation and leave behind proper documents so that whosoever takes over the seat after me can be so guided by whatever we have done.”

There is no word at the moment whether Blease will legally challenge his dismissal.

Channel 5


FFB Introduces New Gen. Sec.

As we told you last night, the Football Federation of Belize fired General Secretary Michael Blease on Monday.  This ends four years that Blease held a job where he made many enemies, and kept as many strong allies.  The news today was that he has been replaced within 24 hours.  The man taking over the job temporarily is former Magistrate and Prison CEO Earl Jones.  Today, Jones along with acting President Marlon Kuylen held an impromptu press conference to discuss the way forward, and Blease's imposing figure in the rearview mirror:…

Marlon Kuylen- Acting President, FFB
"The things that we thought were wrong, it was actually worse than we thought. We see that now we have to make significant changes - and we started on Monday by releasing the General Secretary and appointing Mr. Earl Jones as interim General Secretary for as long as needed.  The idea is that we will advertise the post and have people apply for it and then we choosethe best-qualified person."

Earl Jones- Temporary General Sec, FFB
"But I would have to apply for the post properly at that time."

Marisol Amaya- Reporter
"You intend to apply for it?"

Earl Jones
"I would not like to comment on that at this point. I need to at least get focused on what I am doing right now and see how best I can do that."

Marlon Kuylen- Acting President - FFB
"To us, it's a step in the right direction.  I mean it cannot get any worse than it was before."

Marisol Amaya
"What would be your contribution to try to fix what's wrong? I know it's a tantamount or gargantuan task."

Earl Jones- Temporary General Sec, FFB
"There is a lot of negatives I would say, or a lot of energy flowing to the media, which is of great concern because it tells you that something is going wrong. So my first approach is to evaluate what the media is saying, look at what we are doing and look for a way forward."

Marlon Kuylen- Acting President, FFB
"We've known for a while and the public has known and everybody in football has known for a while now that we had to move on, it was time for…Mr. Blease has served his four years under Mr. Ruperto Vicente and he served one year under us. The year spent with us was…his contribution was immense because most of the year was spent in the planning, in a strategic four-year plan and therefore it was important that he was still with us but the time has come. We're moving on."

Marisol Amaya
"Can you state specifically why it is that Mr. Blease has been dismissed? Is it because of timeline indications? Or what did he do specifically for us to reach this point?"

Marlon Kuylen- Acting President, FFB
"It's not only what he did, a lot of it is what he did not do.  There are several items in his letter, which I will not divulge of course, of stuff that could have been done better. But, no, no…it was time for him to go and that's all I can say about it for now."

Marisol Amaya
"But specifically as it relates to the allegations that were made by the dissenting associations and the PLB has it been established that Mr. Blease participated in a biased pre-election process as he was being accused?"

Marlon Kuylen- Acting President, FFB
"It is alleged that he did manipulate the electoral committee and the electoral appeals committee but the other items that were used in his dismissal far outnumber those allegations."

Marisol Amaya
"You're saying that his quote unquote infractions, to use that word, were so serious that it warrants this immediate dismissal?"

Marlon Kuylen- Acting President, FFB
"Well, like I said there were several things Marisol, I won't dwell on one or two items; there were several items that were used that can substantiate his immediate dismissal."

Marisol Amaya
"What made you want to take up the post? I think other persons looking at everything that's happened in the last few months would actually be running in the opposite direction?"

Earl Jones- Temporary General Sec, FFB
"I would have done that but I examined myself, I asked myself what has life prepared me for over the past years? - Service and service for others. So I decided that within the FFB I can be of service. Not only to the FFB Federation but to those who are playing football out there. So this is what drives me to come on board at very short notice."

Marisol Amaya
"Are other people slated to be dismissed as well?"

Marlon Kuylen- Acting President, FFB
"Well as you can see in our budget a substantial amount of it is slated for salaries which is not sustainable in an organization like this, or any other for that fact. So we are looking for a way to streamline. We may have to give some personnel other duties or we may have to dismiss others."

Earl Jones- Temporary General Sec, FFB
"We need to look at the terms of reference for our staff. We need to look at what they are actually doing because some might be doing other things and then we see how we can streamline that and make the staff performance more effective and efficient."

Jules Vásquez- Reporter (via phone)
"Will there be any institutional disruption within the FFB and, if not, how will you avoid it?"

Marlon Kuylen- Acting President, FFB
"Honestly, I don't think there will be a disruption. Mr. Blease, he left amicably. Actually, he was here this morning when Mr. Jones came in and there was a sort of handing over. There will be other changes but it won't be disrupting."

Earl Jones- Temporary General Sec, FFB
"We'll be looking at the revision of the laws, we'll be looking at putting committees into place and all that is necessary to keep the FFB running smoothly. I intend to work closely with the different leagues, with the different teams, whatever we have; and also to make sure that we operate a transparent and open door policy to all." 

Blease had a contract until the year 2020.  the FFB sent out a statement today saying that Blease is not authorized to conduct business on behalf of the FFB. It adds, quote, "We ask that no correspondence be sent to Mr. Blease and that none be accepted."

Channel 7