New national football competition begins this weekend, SP Pirates FC starts with away game
After it was declared by the Ministry of Health and Wellness that contact sports would be allowed under the condition that every player is vaccinated against COVID-19, the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) announced on Monday, October 18th the beginning of the FFB Top League Tournament 2021-2022. The national football competition is set to start on Saturday, October 23rd with the participation of the following football clubs- San Pedro Pirates FC, Altitude FC, Caesar Ridge FC, Garden City FC, Verdes FC, and Wagiya SC.
Other clubs were interested in participating, but according to FFB, only the ones mentioned above were successful in meeting all the requirements established by the federation. The FFB Top League was put in place by the federation because the Premier League of Belize (PLB) is currently subject to restrictions mandated by the Supreme Court of Belize. In April of this year, a Supreme Court injunction stopped the PLB from proceeding with an electoral congress. PLB's duly elected Executive Committee secured the injunction to stop the football group under the reportedly illegal leadership of Ian Haylock to hold an Electoral Congress.
The San Pedro Pirates have been training for their first match on Sunday, October 24th against Belmopan's Garden City FC. The match is set to start at 3:30PM at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in the Capital City of Belmopan.Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun
===========The Football Federation of Belize announces the FFB TOP LEAGUE TOURNAMENT!
The Football Federation of Belize will on Saturday October 23, 2021 commence its Top League Tournament with the participation of six of the following clubs: - Altitude FC, Caesar Ridge FC, Garden City FC, San Pedro Pirates FC, Verdes FC and Wagiya SC.
Several clubs had expressed interest and applied to participate in the tournament but only the above six clubs were successful in meeting all the requirements established by the FFB.
The FFB Top League as it is presently called was put in place by the FFB because the Premier League of Belize is currently subject to restrictions mandated by the Supreme Court of Belize. The primary objectives of the tournament arc as follows:
1) To fulfil the requirement of FIFA for the restart of Football in Belize 2) To protect the participation berth accorded to the FFB for CONCACAF tournaments
The FFB anticipates administering only the 2021/22 tournament, taking into account the Supreme Court's ruling, and with the expectation that the PLB legal matters will have been resolved during this time.
The FFB thanks the Ministry of Sports and E Governance and the Ministry of Health for partnering with the FFB to chart the way forward for the return of football in Belize. This partnership will now allow Belize to be on par with UNCAF, Concacaf and FIFA by being active within our region. 2021-2022 OPENING SEASON SCHEDULE
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The Belmopan Bandits Sports Football Club would like to clarify its position with respect to its non-participation in the Top League Tournament being proposed by the Football Federation of Belize (FFB). We first of all must state our disappointment with the FFB in failing to recognize the legitimately elected Executive of the Premier League of Belize headed by Mr. Clifford King. Because the FFB has refused to recognize this new executive, this matter has had to be taken to the Supreme Court where we are awaiting a decision of the Court. While the FFB has blocked the new PLB Executive from assuming office, it has proceeded to organize a new "Top-League" tournament where five of the nine PLB Clubs will not be participating. From the nine PLB clubs only five of the clubs were invited to participate in the FFB Top League Tournament. Although Belmopan Bandits was one of the five PLB Club, it was denied participation because it refused to sign a participation agreement. We had indicated our willingness to participate once we were provided with the Regulations for the tournament and once, we were assured by CONCACAF that they are sanctioning this tournament as the qualifying tournament to Concacaf League. None of these things have been forthcoming. Moreover, we are being told that funds that were allocated by FIFA for the PLB including the Belmopan Bandits are now being re-directed to this new League. This has to be illegal and considered a misuse of funds from the perspective of FIFA and CONCACAF but we are yet to hear from these august bodies. Additionally, the Belmopan Bandits has not been allowed access to FIFA online licensing system to renew its license.
This after millions have been invested over the past decade in building this prestigious Club. The Belmopan Bandits is the winning-est Club in Belize football history having won nine PLB titles. We were the first Club to complete all the requirements for FIFA Club License. We have represented Belize three times at Concacaf League. But, we refuse to be a part of the high-handedness of the Football Federation of Belize. We have written to CONCACAF and FIFA for their intervention and we are still hopeful that this matter can be amicably resolved. The Belmopan Bandits is therefore withdrawing from active football until the rights of the PLB as the only authorized body for top league football can be restored.