FIFA Suspends FFB; Gov't interference cited

Posted By: Marty

FIFA Suspends FFB; Gov't interference cited - 06/18/11 02:27 PM

World Cup Qualifier Cancelled

There's huge news tonight in National Football: The World Governing body for football has suspended the Football Federation of Belize. It is a direct result of what Sports Minister John Saldivar said on this newscast last night about not allowing the police department to provide security for the game against Montserrat in Belmopan on Sunday.

FIFA has concluded that the Government is meddling in football affairs, which is strictly prohibited under FIFA statutes, thus the ban. The ban means that Sunday's game has been postponed.

We'll have the full statement from FIFA shortly but we begin tonight's coverage of this very significant issue at the international airport.

That's where the national selection returned from Montserrat to discover that Sunday's return match has been postponed. Here's what the team's reaction was:

Jules Vasquez Reporting
They won five two in Montserrat. But even with that and the flag on their practice jersey, the national football selection returned to an anonymous homecoming - but more than that, their return was complicated by some very bad news:

Ian Gaynair, Defence
"Well as I reach I get in a million text messages saying that we get suspended."

Shane Orio, Goalkeeper/Captain
"Our dreams, our goals and aspiration - it's amazing, it's unbelievable."

Which meant that Sunday's game - which the Montserrat team arrived for - won't be played. It's a major embarrassment and a logistical nightmare, but the Montserratians didn't want to comment. Their hosts though, confess great shame:

Ian Gaynair, Defence
"We have a lot of shame face right now when we first hear it. I think that some of the guys are in there crying right now."

And the tears - they say are for dreams deferred:

Shane Orio, Goalkeeper/Captain
"I think kits unfair that people that we elected to provide opportunities for us; for our dreams now are the same people that today took away our dreams, our aspiration."

Ian Gaynair, Defence
"I get cold seed and eye water in my eyes but what else can we do? It looks like our future is done. It looks like it will be a new generation because our career is done now."

Deon Macauley, striker
"To tell you the truth I don't know what to say because I don't really want to get into that next world because that does not concern me. My job as a player is to go out there and to represent my country, put my foot down and do what I have to do out there to make my country look good - to build up this country in football."

Shane Orio, Goalkeeper/Captain "To practically to not advance you would have to lose 4-0 and again the only way to not advance is by doing what the government did that's why I say it's unbelievable because the only way that we could not advance is by suspension."

Ian Gaynair, Defence
"I think this was the greatest opportunity in football for Belize. We already had one foot in to advance to the next round. This is the round of 16 that a lot of things could have happen for us and they just take it away."

Shane Orio, Goalkeeper/Captain
Minister Saldivar is behind his desk right now in Belmopan smiling right now because the target is Dr. Chimilio. But at the end of the day he did not affect Dr. Chimilio because Dr. Chimilio is still a part of FIFA. He affected us the Belizean players and Belizean that are from here - grass roots Belizeans."

Channel 7

Posted By: Marty

Re: FIFA Suspends FFB; Gov't interference cited - 06/18/11 02:28 PM

FFB Holds Press Conference

After that the Montserrat team jumped on a bus and went to its hotel - while the Belize selection went to the Biltmore for a Press Conference.

That's where Senior Vice president of the FFB, Bernaldino Pech presented the media with a letter from Markus Kattner, the Deputy Secretary General of FIFA.

Dated today, the letter explains why Sunday's match "cannot take place." The gist of that letter was also posted on FIFA's website as a statement on the situation. Here's what that had to say:

"The FIFA Emergency Committee decided today…to suspend the Football Federation of Belize with immediate effect on account of severe governmental interference. The suspension means that the return leg of the qualifying tie for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™, due to be played in Belize on 19 June between the home team and Montserrat, has been postponed." It continues to explain that ion 8 June the Government cautioned FIFA that the FFB is not authorized to represent Belize, and that FIFA wrote back, warning the Government that what it was doing amounted to government interference.

FIFA gave the FFB until 30th. June to settle the matter or it would be referred to the FIFA Emergency Committee. But that timeline had to be aborted yesterday when (and we go back to the FIFA Press Release for this):

"government wrote to FIFA….saying the Belize police would "not be providing any services to the Federation with respect to the security of the visiting team and officials at the match" to be played on 19 June. ??Under these circumstances, and due to the interference of the government of Belize, FIFA cannot take the responsibility of letting the match take place." The statement continues:

The match has therefore been postponed to a new date to be confirmed, but no later than 10 July 2011, provided that the situation is back to normal regarding the FFB and the suspension has been lifted by that date. In the event that the match cannot take place by that date, the national "A" team of Belize will be excluded from the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil preliminary competition.??The suspension will be in place until the Belize government reverses its decision." Thats the end of the statement form FIFA - a statement that sent shockwaves through the global and local football community, after all Belize has just played and won the very first match of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers…and now, this!? At the press conference at the Biltmore - Team Captain Shane Orio was still upbeat. He said the line about the match only being postponed, gives him hope:

Shane Orio, Goalkeeper/Captain
"line number one because at the end of the day it still gives hope and there is always a light and we hope that the government would review their actions and hopefully they could come to agreement and like I said before at least let us play this game and then if they have any problems they could take it up from there."

Bernadino Pech, Senior President - FFB
"The reason that FIFA took this approach is because if the government of Belize cannot guarantee the security of this visiting national team - cannot guarantee the security of the FIFA officials and guarantee the security of our own local Belizeans then they had no other recourse but to proceed in the manner in which they did."

"I just cannot imagine even as I stand here, I just cannot imagine a government that would purposely seek to derail the dreams and aspirations of a nation because irs not only the footballers that are affected it is all those fans who support football - all those individuals who want something to cheer about."

Shane Orio, Goalkeeper/Captain
"Most of us are emotional because at the end of the day with all due respect, I don't know if the Prime Minister or Minister of Sports ever been on the field at Dangriga at Alejo Beni Park barefoot playing football from a child - watch TV and have that dream of playing international football but I think it's unfair for them to asks us to sacrifice something at the end of the day they are not a part of. After a 5-2 win and again I am happy for Deon and now happy that a Belizean and is name will be down in the history of football for the rest of his life. Not only for scoring the first goal but also I think it's the first time a Belizean has scored an international hat trick. So again these are positive things and at the end of the day I think that anybody with a right set of mind and right thinking could look at this situation and see that at the end of the day it will only benefit us the players."

Sports Minister John Saldivar who has freely granted interviews throughout the fiasco - declined comment today. A few details for context: The suspension right now is only temporary - to see if the government and the FFB can works out their issues before July tenth.

By procedure the suspension must be of the FFB, but it is expressly because of what FIFA calls "severe government interference."

And what does a suspension involve? Well it's very serious: it means During the period of suspension, the FFB will not be able to be represented in any regional, continental or international competitions, including at club level, and also not in friendly matches." Belizean players on contract with international clubs - there are three of them - can continue - but players who are not presently on contract cannot sign unto a contract during a suspension.

Aslo, according to the FFB, assistant referee Ricardo Ake - who was already in Mexico to officiate the U - 17 World Cup final also has to be recalled.

Channel 7

Posted By: Marty

Re: FIFA Suspends FFB; Gov't interference cited - 06/18/11 02:54 PM

from a friend.....

Its a long story but here is my take on it. Bertie Chimilio has been president of Football Federation Of Belize (which FIFA recognizes as the official Belize Football organization) for donkeys ears and has consolidated his position by putting his supporters in the key positions to ensure his eternal reelection to the presidency. FIFA gives FFB an annual budget ( I think in the region of $0.5M BZ) in addition to other discretionary funds and funding for specified projects to improve football in Belize. Chimilio (like other national presidents) uses these funds to reward his supporters. The same is done to all FIFA recognized national organizations. FIFA's international president keeps his supporters (national presidents) in his pocket by providing national presidents with perks and thus solidifies the current international president's hold on that position until he is ready to step down when he basically annoints his successor and Chimilio like other national presidents does the same to guarantee his longevity. One of FIFA's basic credo is that governments do not interfere in the national organizations affairs. Successive Belize governments have long recognized that FIFA is a cash cow worth controlling and numerous attempts to put in their "man" at the national helm have been launched to no avail. The last such attempt was in 2004 by former PM Said Musa who tried to oust Chimilio but Current PM Dean Barrow rushed to Chimilio's defense (much like he did with the Maya Land Rights issue) and managed to save Chimilio from ouster. Fast forward to 2011 and current PM Barrow has decided that he must control FFB and has "sicced" Sports Minister Saldivar after Chimilio. Chimilio was holding his ground until GOB changed the law/rules and decided to "derecognize" FFB and set up its own national organization. This led to GOB's recent decision not to recognize FFB's national selection as the Belize national team. It is alleged that GOB went as far as to request that the US government deny intransit visas to the FFB players so that they could not travel to Trinidad. The wily Chimilio took his squad through Panama and they played and won their game against Monserrat a few days ago. The return match was scheduled for this coming Sunday but Barrow would have none of it and wrote FIFA informing that the GOB would not be providing security for the games and that the visitors were playing at their own risk. It is also alleged that GOB instructed the members of the police department that they were forbidden from working any security detail even in a private capacity for the FIFA sanctioned game. FIFA responded this morning by stating that it would not put Monserrat's national team at risk and expelled Belize from participation in any FIFA activities until GOB recognizes FIFA's autonomy. Both parties seem to have battened their hatches leaving Belize Football players out in the cold as far as participation in international football.

response from another friend...

This argument has been going on for more than a decade and the basic gist is as stated above. However, the argument does not stem so much from trying to oust Chimilio as trying to hold him accountable for his actions as the Executive of FIFA Belize. The rift started when team owners asked for an accounting and an audit of the FIFA Belize books. Chimilio refused and the “war” started. There are two football organizations in Belize, the FIFA sanctioned with second tier players and an association made up of the first tier players (who by the way play for the National Team in International FIFA sanctioned event).

I was an owner of a first tier team and tried to discuss this directly with Chimilio results of which were negative. I wrote to the Regional Head of FIFA to ask for intervention and their response was that this must be worked through the chain of command, that I must write to Chimilio and Chimilio decides whether to escalate, which obviously he wasn’t. I explained to FIFA that Chimilio was blocking the request and they said that’s all that can be done. As Alvaro said, FIFA managers are “elected” by their subordinates and therefore make sure that whoever is a country head will support them in “elections”. In our case, the Regional head is afraid that if Chimilio is replaced he would lose that vote.

The failed discussion with FIFA resulted in my, and other owners, request that GOB become involved by demanding that FIFA Belize provide accounting transparency especially considering that the organization represents our country internationally. Alvaro spoke to that by saying that Barrow defended FIFA in that request a few years back. The reality was that the Musa administration tried only half heartedly, afraid that FIFA would pull the US $0.5MM it gives the country. By the way, that is for a staff of 3-5 depending on who you ask since there is no real accounting. Chimilio spends as he wishes, collects dues and fees from team owners, and refuses to give the FIFA sanctioned benefits to the team owners (i.e. free world cup passes). In fact, he sells those if you wish to buy them.

I lost significant amount of money in my foray into professional sports in Belize with Team owners not respecting contracts, FIFA not enforcing transfer fees nor supporting the sports venues with assigned money, and Team owners paying off referees (caught on video). I am not one calling for Dr. Chimilio to leave although I would welcome that idea. I merely ask that there be some level of transparency with what is being done.

GOB needs to approach it from that point of view – accounting transparency is expected of business and individuals, why not FIFA Belize.
Posted By: Marty

Re: FIFA Suspends FFB; Gov't interference cited - 06/21/11 03:27 AM


Last Friday FIFA suspended Belize just days before the return football
match between Belize and Montserrat.  This was after Government wrote
to the governing football body to say it would not be providing security
for the upcoming match.  There has been debate on what has transpired,
with emotions running high on both ends.  Love News spoke with Shane
Orio Moody, team captain and goalkeeper.  We asked Moody whether
Friday’s decision could have been averted. 

Shane Orio Moody – Team Captain/Goalkeeper
“Well definitely yes. I personally believe that at the end of the day, with
all due respect, the government did not look and try to see if would have
benefited the players.  It is sad to say that the only country in
Central America that has a players’ association is Costa Rica so in the
rest of the countries it is the government’s duty, it is the government’s
responsibility to see the well being and welfare of the players.  In
this case I think that was not the case.  I think instead of worrying
about the players or seeing how it would affect the players, the main
thing, not only the government, most of Belize it is Chimilio, Chimilio it
is about Chimilio but at the end of the day what the government has done is
affecting not only myself but it will affect all Belizeans that have the
dreams and hope to play international football.  It is a situation
that at the end of the day harm us and it will go on for the past 5 or 10
years and everything depends on FIFA and their administration and FIFA not
here in Belize, FIFA in Switzerland they are clear, we don’t want no
governmental interference.  Hopefully, they have up to the 10th and
hopefully thins could be resolved.”

Ava Diaz Sosa - Reporter
Do you think the FFB could have done anything differently?

Shane Orio Moody – Team Captain/Goalkeeper
“Yes I think both parties could have done things differently but right now
to a certain extent I believe we have reached a power struggle.  The
FFB did comply with what Sports Council wanted and Sports Council kept on
changing the applications forms and they are saying you can’t change the
applications forms on us.  So again for me it is a power struggle. It
is sad to see that we the players are affected.  At the end of the day
we still have our hopes and dreams intact and hopefully this week
everything could work out.”

Ava Diaz Sosa - Reporter
Do you see that happening?

Shane Orio Moody – Team Captain/Goalkeeper
“Very difficult, for me it is wishful and hopeful thinking, it is very
difficult.  For me the Government has made their position clear, FIFA
wrote on Friday making their decision clear.  If you notice on the
letter that FIFA sent back they had nothing financially, so again in what
way could you affect the FFB by what FIFA said, FIFA just suspended us
which affect the players and it stated clear that any action taken against
members of the present FFB will not be valid in the eyes of FIFA.  At
the end of the day everything that happens affects us the players.  At
the end of the day, we are not playing for Chimilio, we are playing for
Belize.  When we played against Mexico I think everyone put behind
them the Chimilio problem; we did it against Mexico so why is it so
difficult to do it one more time.  This is an opportunity that
presents itself one in a hundred years, when have you ever heard Belize
playing eight international matches in one year, it’s impossible and to
take that away from us I think is not fair.”

While that is the sentiments of the players, Attorney Lionel Welch who has
been very involved in football over the years says this move had to be

Lionel Welch - Football enthusiast
“We have to look at the bigger picture; if things were being run the way
they were supposed to have been run and organized we would have ten more
times more players than we have abroad than we have now.  Some of the
same players who FFB did not want to take, they are the same players who
they somehow allow them to be talking on their behalf.  From the BPFL
point of view, from my view, it is not anything personal against Dr.
Chimilio it is against his management and the non improvement of football
in the country and the younger players must realize that we must look at
the big picture.” 

Story at
Posted By: Marty

Re: FIFA Suspends FFB; Gov't interference cited - 06/22/11 02:13 PM

FIFA suspends Belize

The national selection that played and defeated Montserrat, 5-2, at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, Trinidad and Tobago, returned to the Philip Goldson International Airport in Ladyville this morning to less than a hero’s welcome.

And it now appears that they will not – yet – get the opportunity to play a first “true” home qualifier on Belizean soil for the 2014 World Cup to be held in Brazil, because they came back to news that the world governing body of football, the International Association of Football Federations (FIFA, in its French initials), had, effective immediately and as of this morning, suspended the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) and postponed the return match against Montserrat until the house of football in Belize is in order.

“The FIFA Emergency Committee decided today, 17 June 2011, to suspend the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) with immediate effect on account of severe governmental interference. The suspension means that the return leg of the qualifying tie for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, due to be played in Belize on 19 June between the home team and Montserrat, has been postponed…” reads the first paragraph of the release announcing the suspension on FIFA’s website, posted today, Friday. (Zurich, Switzerland, the site of FIFA’s headquarters, is eight hours ahead of Belize time.)

What had been dreaded by some, welcomed by others, became a reality this morning after FIFA got an unwelcome communication from Minister of Sports John Saldivar yesterday, Thursday.

FIFA and Minister Saldivar had previously corresponded after the National Sports Council (NSC) withdrew recognition of the FFB as Belize’s national governing body of football last Tuesday, June 7.

Two days later, FIFA wrote separately to the Minister and to the FFB, informing the former that Belize was risking suspension under Article 13 (1) (g) of the FIFA statutes regarding governmental interference in a member organization’s affairs, and FFB that it had until June 30 to see the dispute settled, or else it would be referred to the FIFA Emergency Committee and face suspension.

The FFB had defied Government’s pronouncement that the team it sent to Trinidad earlier this week, captained by goalkeeper Shane Moody-Orio, was not representing Belize and that the FFB was not authorized to represent Belizean football in any capacity, and on Thursday GOB, writing through the Minister of Sports, told the FFB that the Police Department would not provide security at the FFB field in Belmopan, the venue for the June 19 match, with respect to the visiting Montserrat team and FIFA’s match officials.

FIFA responded even more quickly this time. According to its deputy secretary general, Markus Kattner, it referred the matter to its Emergency Committee today, and it was decided to postpone the Belize vs. Montserrat match to a later date, providing that the situation is “back to normal,” but the match must be played before July 10, 2011. Interestingly, FIFA says that the suspension lasts “until the Government of Belize reverses its decision,” and warns that it will not recognize any action taken by Government against the office-bearers of the FFB.

At the Belize Biltmore Plaza today during a press conference, FFB senior vice president Bernaldino Pech, addressing a gathering of media personnel and the disconsolate returning players, opined that he could not imagine that the Government would “purposefully seek to derail the dreams and aspirations of a nation.” He said that the suspension also affects Belize’s participation in any event under FIFA and its subsidiaries, CONCACAF and UNCAF regulation.

For instance, assistant referee Ricardo Ake, who was scheduled to participate in the FIFA Under-17 World Championship in Mexico as a referee, cannot now do so.

Pech told his audience that the FFB is prepared to sit down with Government to discuss a solution. However, the federation maintains that it has registered with the NSC according to regulations under the Sports Act, including presenting the Minister personally with an updated constitution, and that the Government has progressively demanded more and more from them, demands with which they said they have complied.

According to Pech, the FFB field in Belmopan met FIFA standards for a World Cup qualifier, the only stadium in the country to do so at present.

Complicating matters further, match officials and the Montserrat team were already in Belize and waiting to hear if the match would go on. Since it did not, the team left for their homeland later in the day.

FFB president Bertie Chimilio was at the Supreme Court this afternoon with attorney for the Federation, Dr. Elson Kaseke, seeking an injunction against the Sports Council, Minister Saldivar and the Commissioner of Police to force them to reverse their decision on security for the game.

However, they were unsuccessful, since according to Justice Minnet Hafiz-Bertram, the match had already been postponed and would not go off on Sunday as planned.

Chimilio told reporters, including Amandala, after court proceedings ended this afternoon, that the suspension was not entirely unexpected, and that he had managed to acquire the services of 50 police officers who would be off-duty this weekend, but the plan was scuttled with the suspension.

The application for judicial review will be heard as initially scheduled before Madam Justice Bertram on June 27, 2011, after Government attorneys Magali Perdomo and Nigel Hawke requested more time to go over the affidavits and other evidence submitted by Dr. Kaseke.


Posted By: JEL

Re: FIFA Suspends FFB; Gov't interference cited - 06/22/11 03:40 PM

Tear down the old regime and start with a new regime.. Build FFB up to a power house in the caribbean.

The Government should invest money into 2 playing fields for international competitions. They should put one in San Pedro and re-vamp one of the other stadiums on the mainland.

This is just an outsider with his perspective. I would also like to see sponsorship's for other cities to get a football team to play in the Belizean Football League.

Posted By: Phil

Re: FIFA Suspends FFB; Gov't interference cited - 07/01/11 05:20 PM

Agree with the first part and that is the aim I think. It's been tried several times. I was on the committee of the local team one year and watched a local businessman sink 6 figures in six months. It costs a lot to run a team on the Cayes and needs a lot of support. Stadia are a must and the money has to flow out from FFB, or the new incarnation, to the grass roots and then Belizean Football will flourish. FIFA don't help and FFB have been a joke hence the situation. Two Stadia on the mainland would do better. Dangriga area is a football hot bed and would be a better second stadium to the City for the Nation.
Posted By: Short

Re: FIFA Suspends FFB; Gov't interference cited - 07/01/11 06:43 PM

Belize’s Bad Boy Bertie gets Blatter’s Backing
By Andrew Jennings
Sunday 25 June, 2011

[Linked Image] Nothing changes at FIFA. Despite the massive corruption scandals that have made Sepp Blatter a global joke, in private he continues to protect discredited officials who remain loyal to him.

The government of Belize in Central America has accused local football boss Bertie Chimilio of banning opponents from elections so he can remain in perpetual power. On June 7, after eight years of urging the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) to publish its accounts and hold transparent elections, the government gave up and told Chimilio his federation ‘was no longer authorised to represent Belize.’

It is a high-risk decision. Belize’s footballers are currently competing in qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup. On June 17 Blatter summoned FIFA’s emergency committee. Not surprisingly it ruled that the Belize government must stop ‘their severe interference.’ Until FIFA gets this guarantee, the national side is banned from playing further World Cup matches. A game against Montserrat has been postponed and may be cancelled if Belize doesn’t bow to Blatter. The team are heartbroken.

Committee of Fools

[Linked Image] Who took the decision to suspend Belize? FIFA ‘s emergency committee is comprised of Africa’s Issa Hayatou (under investigation by the IOC for allegedly taking a $30,000 bribe), Paraguay’s Nicolas Leoz (accused of taking five bribes totalling $730,000) and Sepp Blatter (accused of forwarding a bribe to Joao Havelange and also being investigated by the IOC).

Mohammed Bin Hamman couldn’t vote; he is suspended, accused of paying $1 million in bribes in this month’s FIFA presidential election campaign. Oceania’s David Chung is a new member and alongside him is Uefa’s Michel Platini.

I emailed Platini asking if he had voted to ban Belize, what would he say to their heartbroken footballers and would he supply a copy of the report that Blatter’s bureaucrats prepared for the Emergency Committee?

He hasn’t replied. I asked FIFA for a copy of the report. They declined. They talk the talk about transparency – but nothing has changed.

‘Irregularities and misconduct’
[Linked Image] As far back as 2004 Belize’s National Sports Council announced it had discovered ‘numerous irregularities, misconduct and improprieties on the part of the FFB.’ It demanded financial reports, minutes of meetings and properly conducted elections. It didn’t get them. President Bertie Chimilio claimed that FIFA rules prevented him from revealing what he does with the FFB’s money.

A year ago Sports Minister John Saldivar met Chimilio and asked him for evidence about how the federation elects its officials. Despite reminders, Chimilio has not been forthcoming. In early December Saldivar met with FIFA president Blatter and told him that after consulting ‘with footballers, coaches, sponsors and enthusiasts’ he knew that most FFB officials had never been elected.

Saldivar said that he had asked for proper elections and asked Blatter, respectfully, ‘I call on your high office to intervene in this matter to bring about a speedy and amicable resolution.

Blatter did nothing but Bertie Chimilio did. Elections were announced. A slate of clean-up officials was nominated to run against him. Shamelessly, Chimilio banned them all and instead of an election had himself ‘endorsed’ for another term. Outraged, Sports Minister Saldivar announced a special investigation into the FFB and officials from the National Sports Council got to work, interviewing stakeholders around the country. This is the ticking bomb that will likely force Chimilio from power.

In April this year Blatter visited Belize, but with no intention of compromise. ‘Let football be in peace,’ he warned. ‘We need the support of the government but the government should not and never interfere in the organization of our game.’ With Chimilio’s vote secured for the upcoming election, Blatter departed.

Putting Blatter on notice
[Linked Image] Prime Minister Dean Barrow revealed, ‘Blatter had asked me for him to pay a courtesy call and I said to him that's what it was, a courtesy call. I didn't want to get into matters of controversy but I needed to put him on notice that the government has a problem with the local federation and that the Minister is pursuing a particular strategy. He didn't make any response to that and I left it there.’

The Belize football community has turned its back on Bertie’s FFB and in June stakeholders from across the country met in the National Sports Council’s offices in Belize City and created a new organisation, the National Football Association of Belize. They announced, pointedly, that officials were elected by secret ballot, not Chimilio’s usual show of hands. ‘A new light in football will shine across our country,’ said NFAB President, Michael Blease.

Blatter is fighting a rearguard battle to save Bertie Chimilio. It took only one week for his emergency committee to play the blackmail card. But the Government, given no choice by FIFA but to back off and support Chimilio’s team in the next qualifying game, is holding firm.

In a few days the report of the special investigation into the FFB will be published. It is expected to confirm that Chimilio had no grounds to disqualify his opponents, his ‘election’ is invalid and new elections must be called – with a secret ballot. It is going to be hard for Blatter and his committee to defend the poisonous suspension much longer.

Platini endorses the Dictator
[Linked Image] Michel Platini seems to have become Blatter’s toyboy, hoping to inherit the president’s crown. Immediately after the disastrous ‘election’ on June 1 Blatter, with Platini in tow, headed for Azerbaijan. It’s a country where reporters risk jail and torture if they ask critical questions – just the kind of media coverage Blatter prefers.

Platini and Blatter went out of their way to endorse the regime, performing photocalls and handshakes for local TV with thuggish President Ilham Aliyev, who inherited the top job from his thuggish father. Over the years Blatter has been happy to prop up any dictator in the world from Charles Taylor in Liberia to the autocrats of central Asia. The message to the oppressed? Your dictator is blessed by the outside world.

Please sign up and back Belize against Blatter & the thugs
The football family in Belize has created its own Facebook page ‘Hands off Belize Football’ and is hoping for global support to force FIFA’s Emergency Committee to reverse its ban and abandon the discredited Chimilio. There’s still time for the Belize team to live their dream and play in the World Cup.

Hands off Belize Football
Here is a link with the URLs for the "Hands off Belize Football" Facebook page, Twitter account and the email addresses of the FIFA officials and the Ethics committee:

Posted By: Short

Re: FIFA Suspends FFB; Gov't interference cited - 07/01/11 06:44 PM

Sports Council Not On FIFA’s Timeline

In a few hours, executives FIFA Headquarters in Switzerland will wake up to the news that the National Sports Council and the Football Federation of Belize have not worked out their differences by the deadline given which was June 30th. Earlier this week, attorney for the FFB Elson Kaseke said he hoped that with the submission of the 2010 statutes, things would be worked out before the deadline.

Well they haven't been worked out; unofficial reports from the Sports Council are that it has been unable to convene a meeting to even consider the FFB's statutes. And it appears, that after claiming to wait months for those statutes, that the Sports Council is in no great rush to review them. As we understand it, attorney for the Sports Council Rodwell Williams has advised presiding judge Minnette Hafiz that the Sports Council cannot meet this week.

Presumably the sports council will meet next week, but that is past the FIFA deadline for resolution of the dispute. We note that when it meets, the council may also be considering an application from another body to be accredited as the National Football Association.

The next move is FIFA's - but with all this it appears doubtful that Belize and Montserrat will be able to play the return match of its world cup qualifier. Government maintains its position that the FFB is not certified by the Sports Council and, because of that, no logistical support would be forthcoming from the state.
Posted By: chris45

Re: FIFA Suspends FFB; Gov't interference cited - 07/02/11 02:55 PM

Before the Sports council can recognise FFB, there are two questions which must be answered.
First it has been widely reported that each delegate to CONCACAF was given a brown envelope containing US$40,000 in return for promising to vote for Bin Hammam in the FIFA presidential election. Bin Hammam withdrew on the eve of that election.
So the first question is: Who represented FFB Belize at that meeting? and was he given a brown envelope? And what became of its contents?
Second question: FIFA have been giving FFB US$500,000 per year for development of football in Belize. May we know how that money has been spent each year?
The new organisation NFAB has indeed submitted its application for recognition by the Sports Council. Unlike FFB however, NFAB has held proper elections supervised by an official from the Sports Council
it is time for the Sports Council to put an end to this mess, recognise the new body, and allow GOB to accredit NFAB as the true representative of football in Belize.
That must be done quickly as the deadline for the second leg of our WC qualifier is only ten days away.
Posted By: Short

Re: FIFA Suspends FFB; Gov't interference cited - 07/06/11 06:44 AM

F.F.B. still suspended

[Linked Image] The Football Federation of Belize is still in limbo over the return match with Montserrat. The F.F.B. was suspended by FIFA when the government decertified it and wrote to FIFA to say it would not provide security for the games. The F.F.B., it is reported, is now considering playing Montserrat in Honduras, but that is still under contemplation. The F.F.B. has only a few days left for the ban to be lifted. In the first match, the team beat Montserrat, five-two in the first game in Trinidad. The series is a pre-qualifier to the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. But as we said, it all hangs in the air.

Channel 5 Belize
Posted By: chris45

Re: FIFA Suspends FFB; Gov't interference cited - 07/08/11 12:39 AM

With todays news that FIFA have lifted the ban on Belize, the ball is very much back in the court of GOB.
But disregarding for a moment the political issues which have not gone away, let us all wish the Belize World Cup squad the very best of luck in their second leg World Cup qualifier.
Posted By: Short

Re: FIFA Suspends FFB; Gov't interference cited - 07/08/11 04:08 AM

Just in time; guess our PM was also preparing a law to nationalize FIFA wink
Posted By: Short

Re: FIFA Suspends FFB; Gov't interference cited - 07/08/11 04:09 AM

July 07, 2011

Belize is getting a chance to play the return leg of the World Cup qualifying match against Montserrat. But Belizeans won’t get to see the game in person; that is unless they are prepared to travel to Honduras. That is because the game will now be played in Honduras. FIFA, the world body governing football today lifted the suspension of the Football Federation of Belize which was imposed on June 17. A statement issued by the FIFA Emergency Committee notes that the lifting of the suspension was because of “some positive developments in the case as reported by the FFB to FIFA.” The Belize National Sports Council has decertified the FFB for failing to comply with several requests for the organization to provide documents necessary for its registration locally. The FIFA statement says that “this return match will not be played before July 17, 2011 outside Belize (in order to avoid the risk of the Belizean authorities not providing security guarantees, as was the case for the game originally scheduled for June 19, 2011.) The statement ends by saying that: “the Emergency Committee has decided that, should the FFB not be able to definitively settle the issues at stake with the authorities by 15 August 2011, then the suspension of the FFB would be automatically reinstated.” Late this evening, government issued a release on the lifting of the FFB’s suspension by FIFAm saying that GOB views the move with great dismay. The release says, and we quote: “In spite of the fact that FIFA has been duly informed that the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) is not authorized to represent the people and country of Belize in local or international competition, the International Federation continues to sanction matches for a team that is not recognised by the country of Belize as its National Team. The FIFA release asserts that there have been “positive developments in the case as reported by the FFB to FIFA.” This assertion is supposedly based on a misleading correspondence from the Attorney for the FFB, Elston Kaseke, date June 29th 2011 and addressed to the FFB, which has been characterized in writing by Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams, Attorney for the National Sports Council, as a complete misrepresentation of what transpired in the Court of Madam Justice Hafiz-Betram. For the record, to date the FFB has still not been registered by the National Sports Council, and though the Council, through its Attorney, has finally been furnished with the FFB Statutes, the Council is yet to convene a meeting to consider such. In the meantime the FFB has once again filed a claim in court which will be heard on Friday, July 8 at 2 p.m.” End of quote. The government press release ends by reiterating that, quote: “no FFB team is authorized to represent this country at home or abroad and calls on FIFA, and our sister nation Honduras, to respect our national sovereignty and our right to require accountability from those who represent us in international sports,” end of quote.
Posted By: Short

Re: FIFA Suspends FFB; Gov't interference cited - 07/10/11 05:36 PM

July 08, 2011

The claim the Football Federation of Belize made against the National Sports Council, Minister of Sports and the Commissioner of police was heard in a close chamber hearing today. Ismael Miley Garcia is the National Sports Administer at the Ministry of Sports.

Ismael Garcia - National Sports Administrator

“Essentially what transpired in Madame Minnet Hafiz court is that the plaintiff argued that they were trying to get an injunction but the National Sport Council’s attorney informed Madame Justice Hafiz that the National Sports Council is meeting tomorrow to consider the application that was submitted by the FFB now that the FFB has finally submitted the last document that they were refusing to submit to the National Sports Council which is their updated statutes and constitution. The Judge ruled that because that meeting is taking place tomorrow, there was no injunction or no matter to be heard because she needs to find out what will be the outcome of that meeting that will take place tomorrow at the National Sports Council.”

As we reported yesterday, FIFA has temporarily lifted its suspension on Belize because they are allowing the FFB to play a match outside of Belize with the condition that the issues between the FFB and the GOB be resolved by August 17th
Posted By: Short

Re: FIFA Suspends FFB; Gov't interference cited - 07/14/11 05:06 AM

Sports Council Not Satisfied With FFB Statutes

[Linked Image] The Belizean national football team is in Honduras according to newspaper reports from that country.. They will play Montserrat there next week.

In Belize on Saturday the Sports council met to consider the FFB statues as well as those form a new football association. The chairman Allan Sharp told us what was the result of those deliberations..

Allan Sharp, Chairman - Nat'l Sports Council

"Basically both statutes council unanimously agreed not to approve either one on the basis first of all on the NFAB - their application or the statutes was not complete so they have to go back and complete it. In the case of FFB we found about 5 points where the statute has what we call irregularities whereby they need to also fix before coming back to us. Basically there were some articles that are undemocratic. there was some articles that don't follow the rules of FIFA - the FIFA statutes and we also found in the last article - article 84 I believe where the dating of the statute is incorrect in that the date of the 2006 statute and the date of the 2010 statute had the exact same date that they were approve by the general congress yet the enforcement date of the 2006 puts the 2006 date ahead of the 2010 and so there seems to be some mixed up there that these clarification that other points that did not meet the processes stipulated by FIFA."

Jules Vasquez
"It's not the kind of thing that would change overnight. We have now pass July 10th when FIFA told us - had given a deadline for resolution with the difficulty, so it doesn't appear that the sports council will re-register the FFB coming to the end of business on the 11."

Allan Sharp, Chairman - Nat'l Sports Council
[Linked Image] No not here today but what we are asking them to do with them and the NFAB is to go back to their general congress and get the changes made that need to happen."

Jules Vasquez
"But perhaps you don't understand that there is an emergency that FFB is about to suspend Belize. Is it something that the sports council wants to avoid?"

Allan Sharp, Chairman - Nat'l Sports Council
"Well nobody wants to have football not played, everybody wish that the thing could be resolve. What we are saying is it is now in the FFB hands to try and get the thing fix."

FIFA had given Belize until July 10th to resolve the impasse between the Sports council and the FFB. Both sides return to court on Thursday of this week.

The game in Honduras is set for Sunday July 17th according to newspaper reports from that country.
Posted By: Short

Re: FIFA Suspends FFB; Gov't interference cited - 07/14/11 05:13 AM

FIFA Will Visit Belize To Speak With Ministry of Sports

A high ranking FIFA delegation will visit Belize a week from today to meet with the minister of Sports. The Ministry of Sports today announced the FIFA/CONCACAF/UNCAF delegation will meet concerned stakeholders in particular from the Government of Belize and from the FFB. The delegation is composed of Rafael Salguero, FIFA Executive Member and Emergency Committee member; Ariel Alvarado, CONCACAF Executive Member; and Rafael Tinoco, UNCAF President." According to the release, the Ministry sees the visit as a positive development, and welcomes the opportunity since, quote, "the way forward for Belizean football has to be achieved through a process of dialogue."

And while that is one emerging matter - the one on the table right now is that the sports council has rejected the FFB's statutes, pointing to four inconsistencies and one anomaly. But according to President of FFB Bertie Chimilio he has not gotten the official letter from the National Sports Council - and they want to know who on the Sports council can competently review their statutes:…

Bertie Chimilio, President FFB

[Linked Image] "Who in the national sports council? What is their authority to just the statutes. Is there anybody qualified to speak about it. When we get it we will have to ask them. We will challenge them who is the qualified person for which we know that there is none qualified to say anything. Once we get it and if there is something we can claim - I want to say that next week we will have a high power delegation coming here to talk to all stakeholders about football. If they know we did wrong then come with the facts stop writing and talking things that are not true. come with the facts."

As we understand it, one issue that Sports Council has pointed to is that FIFA statutes require "an electoral committee independent from an executive committee to over see elections, meaning that candidates cannot preside over election matters - as Dr. Bertie Chimilio is alleged to do.
Posted By: Short

Re: FIFA Suspends FFB; Gov't interference cited - 07/16/11 05:45 AM

The Fight Over Football Continues In Court

he Football Federation of Belize went back to the Supreme Court today before Justice Minnette Hafiz. This time, the FFB's attorney Elson Kaseke asking for an injunction against the National Sports Council to restrain it from disallowing the FFB access to sporting facilities administered by the Sports Council.

Arguments by Elson Kaseke for the FFB, Nigel Ebanks for the Sports Council and Magali Perdomo for the Government last until after 5:00 this evening.

When it was done we spoke to all sides about the injunction - and the state of things - which is that the Sports Investigation Committee has found that the FFB's December 2010 executive election was not in line with FIFA statutes - that one was a joke to Dr. Bertie.

Elson Kaseke

[Linked Image] "I am hopeful that my clients are going to prevail. Look if you read the basis on which the national sports council refuse to register the football federation of Belize - it's because of some undefined democratic principle, issues of political science which they are trying to put in a strait jacket in the context of the law. That's pure nonsense. That's none-sensical. There is no law in Belize we say voting by hand is illegal."

Jules Vasquez
"They are saying its contravening FIFA statutes."

Elson Kaseke
"FIFA statutes do not say federations cannot provide in their constitution that voting can be by hand. There is nothing in the FIFA statutes saying that is contrary to the FIFA statutes. FIFA statutes do not say who is to supervise the elections of football federations."

Ismael "Miley" Garcia, National Sports Administrator
[Linked Image] "I have read those regulations, I have read the standard electoral code and its clearly says that there must be an electoral commission that decides on who qualifies for an election - who runs an election. The FIFA statutes itself doesn't have it but there is another regulation. If you look at the statutes of the FFB, I think it article 35 - it says that they are bound to uphold the statutes and regulations and bylaws of FIFA. When you look at article 254 in their constitution it is clearly in contravention of what is shown in the regulation for the standard electoral code."

Jules Vasquez
"How do you feel about the letter that the sports council sends you saying that your statutes are not in line with FIFA statutes?"

Bertie Chimilio, FFB President
"It's a big laugh."

Jules Vasquez
"But the specifics of it say that an independent electoral commission should preside over elections."

Bertie Chimilio, FFB President
[Linked Image] "I don't where that comes from really."

Jules Vasquez
"You are not familiar with that."

Bertie Chimilio, FFB President

Jules Vasquez
"But it may be in the FIFA statutes."

Bertie Chimilio, FFB President
"I don't know where it is. You may have to show me. But all I have to do is laugh. You waste government doing things that shouldn't be done and so that's all I could say. It's a joke."

Isani Cayetano, Reporter
"You also mention that the FFB did not get a chance in terms of a hearing before being decertified. Can you expand on that as well?"

Elson Kaseke
"Look I have been at praise to say that the FFB is one of many federations, many of whom are running and registered up to now. Many of whom enjoy the sporting facilities of the national sports council. Why single out one when everyone is supposed to be equal."

Ismael "Miley" Garcia, National Sports Administrator
"The letter that was sent to the FFB is the same letter that was sent to all the associations that have not qualify for registrations by the national sports council and none of these are enjoying the use of facilities of the national sports council so I saw that allegation being thrown around in the court there and of course our attorneys chose not to respond to that because that was not the substantive matter before the court - it was a matter for an injunction but clearly when we talk about facilities, concessions, exemptions there are for example limited resources that the Ministry of Sports would give to various associations. What it means is that those other federations or associations that were given the same letter that was given to the FFB do not qualify for these things. But there are no facilities that NSC controls that are being used by any of these associations that they are referring to - none."

Jules Vasquez
"How would you respond to the allegation that the FFB was suspended without a hearing?"

Ismael "Miley" Garcia, National Sports Administrator
"That is the most preponderance of all. If you are getting correspondence from the 26th of August 2010 and we are now talking the final deadline was given or 14th April and you have all these letters of March 8, March 31 or even after march 31 you get another letter or April14th - you are being given all of these letters and warnings and you are being encourage to come in and register. They are moving the goal post deliberately for you o come in and bring in your statutes and then you don't bring them."

Elson Kaseke
"Jules, you know that there are several matches which are played under the FFB. Under 14, under 15, under 16, senior teams and so - women's football and so. So I think basically un-sensical for the representatives of the national sports and the minister to come and say that there is one football field in Belmopan or that the FIFA football is being played in Honduras. What happens to those other games? The agency remains - it is pressing and anyone with eyes can see that there is a disruption in the fixtures."

Regarding the use of facilities, the Sports Council's position is that in fact football continues to be played - as recently as Sunday there were super league games played in Placencia and Toledo. The BPFL has removed itself from under the FFB - so there is no sanction against them.

Justice Hafiz has reserved judgment.
Posted By: Short

Re: FIFA Suspends FFB; Gov't interference cited - 07/16/11 06:30 AM

F.F.B. national selection plays warm up game against Honduras

[Linked Image] The Football Federation of Belize has been in and out of court this week trying to settle with the National Sports Council over the use of the sporting facilities in the country. But in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, the national selection played a warm up game against Honduras’ Marathon and the Belize team overwhelmed the Honduran team. The score went three-nil. On Sunday, Belize will take on Montserrat in the return match to complete the first round of World Cup 2014 pre-qualifiers. The games will be played at the Estadio Olympico. Stay tuned to this station for reports on the games; Belize versus Montserrat plays in San Pedro Sula on Sunday.

News 5 Belize
Posted By: 12321

Re: FIFA Suspends FFB; Gov't interference cited - 07/17/11 06:31 PM

Does anyone know if Belize vs Montserrat will be televised today or if there is a way to follow it online?
Posted By: JEL

Re: FIFA Suspends FFB; Gov't interference cited - 08/09/11 05:47 PM

I have been on the island for 1 month now and have have watched a few games. From what I can see from being a foreigner is that the teams I have played for they have had structure and on San Pedro there is no structure with the league and players. FFB can probably see this and they don't want to supplement San Pedro anything for the grass roots of football due to this point.

It would be great to see a competitive football team on the island so we can have better football here. This is just me rambling on but, it starts with just one person...
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